The Allegheny County Health Department is offering free produce through the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program to women and children enrolled in its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program.
In addition to regular WIC benefits, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum and children two, three and four years of age each will be given checks worth $20 that are redeemable through November 30 for Pennsylvania-grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Farmers Markets and Farm Stands anywhere in the state, including 56 locations in Allegheny County.
This year for the first time two indoor Farmers Markets have been located at WIC offices in downtown Pittsburgh and McKees Rocks for the convenience of WIC families. All participating Farmers Markets in the County are listed on the Health Department's web site, www. achd.net/wic.
WIC families also will receive a guide to picking fresh produce, various recipes using fruits and vegetables and tips for planting their own fruit and vegetable garden.
Families are encouraged to sign up for WIC to receive the free produce as well as regular WIC benefits, which include infant formula, milk, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal and other foods.
WIC is a federally funded program for pregnant or breastfeeding women, postpartum mothers and children under the age of five. Eligibility is based on income and nutritional risk.
The income limits, new as of May 1, are an annual gross income of $20,036 for a family of one; $26,955 for 2; $33,874 for 3; $40,793 for 4; $47,712 for 5; $54,631 for 6; $61,550 for 7; and $68,469 for 8. Add $6,919 for each additional member beyond 8. Unborn children are counted in determining family size when a woman is pregnant.
For information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, call the County Health Department at 412-350-5801. If this number is a toll call or you live outside Allegheny County, call the statewide toll-free number, 1-800-WIC-WINS. Information also is available at www.achd.net/wic.