Farmers' Market Program Overview
Alaska’s farmers grow some of the best produce in the country. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of good nutrition. The Alaska Farmers' Market program introduces WIC participants and eligible seniors to produce grown in Alaska. Through this program, participants are issued coupons that they can exchange for Alaska-grown fruits, vegetables and herbs at local Farmers' Markets and farm stands. The program helps Alaska’s economy by bringing new customers to Alaskan farmers who sell their products directly to consumers. The USDA and the State of Alaska fund this program.
Farmers' Market FAQ's
Who is eligible for Farmers’ Market coupons?
WIC participants currently enrolled in the WIC Program and low-income seniors who live in areas of Alaska where there are Farmers' Markets and farm stands.
How do I get Farmers’ Market Coupons?
If you are a WIC participant in an area with a Farmers' Market or farm stand, the coupons will be issued to you at your WIC appointment. If you are an eligible senior, you can pick up coupons at your local senior center. Sometimes other arrangements are made for seniors, through their local senior center.
How do the coupons work?
Each eligible person receives a booklet of 5 coupons worth $5.00 each for the summer growing season. Coupons can only be used to buy Alaskan grown produce at authorized Farmers' Markets and farm stands. The farm stall at the market will have a sign saying they accept Farmers' Market coupons. Farmers must provide the full amount of the value of each coupon. They cannot give you change for your coupons. You cannot use the coupons at a grocery store.
Where are the Farmers' Markets and farm stands?
The WIC Farmer’s Market Program operates in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, Dillingham and the Palmer/Wasilla areas. The Senior Farmers' Market Program operates in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Palmer/Wasilla areas. Plans are underway to expand to other areas when funds increase and more Alaskan farmers participate in the program.
What foods are eligible?
Eligible foods are fresh, unprepared, Alaskan-grown fruits, berries, vegetables and herbs. Processed or prepared foods are not eligible. Honey and cider are examples of foods that are not eligible for the program. Alaskan products such as fish or shellfish are not eligible.
How do I know which markets are authorized to accept coupons?
When your coupons are issued to you, you will be given a list of eligible Farmers' Markets and farm stands in your area.
How do I find out how to store and prepare these foods?
Your WIC agency or senior center will provide information on the nutritional value, methods of storage and recipes when you get your coupons. You can also ask farmers for tips when you redeem your coupons.