Until today, Missouri was one of the few states that did not participate in the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Thanks to State Rep. Martha Stevens, State Sen. Lauren Arthur and advocates across the state, legislation establishing the program passed as an amendment to House Bill 432.
WIC FMNP is a federally funded program that provides WIC participants with coupons to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. It puts healthy food within reach for moms and kids while injecting federal dollars into local economies across Missouri.
"This bill is a win for families, farmers, and local economies around the state," Stevens said. "This measure provides direct support for women and children and helps address the serious issue of food insecurity in our state."
WIC participants include low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children up to 5 years of age who are found to be at nutritional risk. Feeding America estimates over 290,000 Missouri kids were food insecure in 2020.
House Bill 432 also establishes the Missouri Food Security Task Force to make recommendations to improve food access and ensure food security for urban and rural communities.