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Greater access to healthy food: WIC and food stamps at farmers markets

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It seems like every comment lately, is preceded by the words "well, in today's economy". Although there has been some improvement, employment numbers are still stagnant and Fort Worth area families are still struggling to balance the budget when there's just too much month left at the end of the paycheck.

Many of our neighbors have turned to public assistance, food stamps and food pantries...and the number of first-time users is rising. The face of the working poor is changing as well. Families with a house and a car could just as easily show up for a helping hand, as would a single mom on emergency funds.

Scoring good healthy fresh food though has traditionally been a challenge, till some wise heads got together and decided that a farmers market would be a great place to not only provide the food, but also helpful information about food choices.

Almost 1 million Texans participate in WIC, a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers and young children eat well and stay healthy. In October 2009, the WIC program added fruits and vegetables to the program, but the cards were generally only accepted in grocery stores.

As part of the pilot, the Southlake company ii2P designed hand-held devices that accept the WIC benefit cards, as well as debit and credit cards, and supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits (also known as food stamps.) here to read more.

Are you struggling to make ends meet and provide nutritious meals? If not, do you know someone who is? Click here to check out the market locations and dates they are open.




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