Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs (WIC/Senior)
Bureau of Family Nutrition
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Participants in the WIC program (women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or in the postpartum period as well as their children 1 to 5 years of age) and income-eligible senior citizens.


To promote the routine consumption of fruits and vegetables as a part of the daily diet.


The program provides checks that can be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers' markets in 34 counties. The program can only operate from July through November 30th of each year. Nutrition education materials, including recipes, are also distributed.

Delivery Method

The Department operates two separate programs. Checks for WIC participants are distributed at WIC clinics. Checks for seniors are distributed at local senior citizens' centers through the cooperation of the Illinois Department on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $500.5 $934.4 $1,170.5 $1,200.4
Number of Grantees 1 3* 3* 3*
Number Served 87,000 74,000 77,500 85,500 est.

*Catholic Charities, IL Department on Aging and WIC clinics

Program Effectiveness

  • The WIC/Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP/SFMNP) served over 85,000 participants in 34 counties during 2009.
  • Of the 85,000 participants served, 55% were seniors and 45% were women and children.
  • Implemented the new banking system, which issues checks instead of coupons that the participants use to pay for their fruits and vegetables. The farmer then deposits the checks into their bank.