WIC Families Urged to Use Checks for Free Produce

Farmers Market Checks Must be Redeemed Before Expiration on Nov. 30

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department is reminding WIC families that checks for the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program expire on November 30.

WIC families are encouraged to take full advantage of the program and redeem their checks for free produce before they expire.  It is suggested that the checks be used before Thanksgiving, since most Farmers Markets close for the season a week before the holiday.

Pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and children 2 to 4 enrolled in WIC were eligible to receive $20 each in checks redeemable at participating Farmers Markets for Pennsylvania-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

The list of produce available this fall includes apples, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, squash, grapes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, pears, plums, potatoes, pumpkins, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams and zucchini.

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 are an annual gross income of $20,665 for a family of one; $27,991 for 2; $35,317 for 3; $42,643 for 4; $49,969 for 5; $57,295 for 6; $64,621 for 7; and $71,947 for 8.  Add $7,326 for each additional member beyond 8.  Unborn children are counted when the woman is pregnant. 

Besides Farmers Market produce during the summer and fall, WIC provides regular year-round food benefits that include 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 and pink salmon; and fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.

For more 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 (1-800-942-9467).