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Title WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers: Small farms face barriers in supplying produce
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Abstract

By October 2009, all 50 states had implemented a revised WIC program with produce vouchers for millions of eligible families. USDA economists had projected the vouchers would raise net farm revenues by $76 million. In response to such a significant policy change and market opportunity, a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension team of researchers conducted a pilot project to test the ability of small farms to market produce locally to WIC-authorized stores known as A-50 vendors. They also interviewed store owners and produce distributors to determine how produce was entering the supply chain to the A-50 vendors. The pilot project was not successful in helping small growers enter the supply chain. The analysis indicates that it is improbable that small farms will be selling much produce to A-50 vendors; growers’ price expectations are unlikely to be met since these vendors are competing with large retailers. And although the vouchers can be redeemed at farmers markets, very few are because the process is cumbersome for growers and shoppers.

Authors
Hardesty Dr, Shermain
Small Farm Program Extension Economist
food systems, small farms, marketing, organics, sustainable agriculture
Leff, Penny
Agritourism Coordinator/Public Education Specialist
Agritourism support
Retired - Baameur Mr, Aziz
Retired Emeritus, Farm Advisor
Small Farms, cultivar evaluation, nutrient management, irrigation, specialty crops, vegetables, Asian vegetables, Small Farms
Aguiar, Jose Luis
Farm Advisor
Vegetable crops and small farms
Jimenez, Manuel J
Farm Advisor, Emeritus
Small farms, vegetable crops, integrated pest management
Zeltser, Yelena : Y. Zeltser was director of the California Farm to School Program at the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College
Kaiser Dr, Lucia L
CE Nutrition Specialist
Acculturation and dietary changes; ethnic food habits (particularly Latino); child feeding practices; evaluation of nutrition education
Publication Date Apr 1, 2015
Date Added Jun 24, 2015
Copyright © The Regents of the University of California
Copyright Year 2015
Description

In a UCCE pilot study, small growers were unable to supply local WIC stores on an ongoing basis; few vouchers are being used at farmers markets.

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