Free Pennsylvania-Grown Produce For WIC Families

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Available at Farmers Markets

The Allegheny County Health Department is offering free produce through the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program again this summer as part of its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program.

Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum and children two, three and four years old who are enrolled in the WIC Program are eligible for checks worth $20 in free produce.  Each family also receives a re-usable Farmers Market shopping bag along with DVDs, coloring books and a pamphlet promoting the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Checks will be distributed during quarterly WIC appointments starting June 1.  However, clients who don’t want to wait until their next scheduled appointment have the option of picking up the checks early on a walk-in basis by visiting their WIC office on the following dates:  Springdale and McKees Rocks, June 1; Clairton, June 5; McKeesport, June 7 and July 19; Downtown Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg, June 8; Carnegie, June 14; Turtle Creek, June 15; and Mt. Oliver, June 29.          

The checks are redeemable through November 30 for Pennsylvania-grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Farmers Markets and Farm Stands in Pennsylvania.  Seventy-six locations are in Allegheny County and listed on the World Wide Web Icon Health Department's WIC web site.      

In addition to free produce, WIC families receive nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and other food benefits, such as infant formula; infant cereal; milk; eggs; cheese; juice; cereal; peanut butter; whole grains, including bread, tortillas, oatmeal and rice; soy milk; tofu; jarred baby foods; dry or canned beans; canned tuna/sardines/pink salmon; and fresh/frozen/canned fruits and vegetables.

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 medical risk.

The current income limits are an annual gross income of $20,147 for a family of one; $27,214 for 2; $34,281 for 3; $41,348 for 4; $48,415 for 5; $55,482 for 6; $62,549 for 7; and $69,616 for 8.  Add $7,067 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, please call the County Health Department WIC Program at 412-350-5801.  If this number is a toll call or you live outside Allegheny County, please call the statewide toll-free number, 1-800-WIC-WINS

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