Wichita Falls, TX - People who have Senior and WIC vouchers will now be able to buy fresh produce upon leaving their appointment.
Cynthia Haberson, a mother of two children, said her family greatly benefits from the program and she frequently puts their vouchers to use. Tuesday, she spent the morning buying produce at the Wichita Falls Farmer's Market downtown.
"We have two cards and get sixty a month, " said Cynthia.
She is among 4,000 people throughout Wichita County who also receive WIC vouchers.
Quincy Christian, Program Coordinator of Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children at the Wichita Falls- Wichita County Public Health District said while about 4,000 receive WIC benefits, not everyone uses them.
"We're trying to improve the redemption rate. So we have a senior voucher and a WIC program and we want every single voucher that is given to be used and not just stuck in a drawer or forgot about because it was inconvenient," said Christian.
Currently, the process to obtain a voucher consists of making a couple of stops around town prior to even getting your hands on fresh produce.
A new grant-funded program through the Health District and Community Partnerships for Healthy Mother's and Children, wants to change that -- by bringing fresh, local, produce to those who need it most.
"With the farmers market, we hope to remove a step for our WIC clients if they want to access healthy foods," said Christian.
Each Wednesday, starting July 8 from 7:30 - 11:30 a.m., vendors from the Wichita Falls Farmers Market will set up shop in the Health District's parking lot. Officials hope by making the process easier, more people may be inclined to use the benefits.
"I think it will be great there. I think they are going to get more participants," said Cynthia.
To apply for the vouchers, you must visit the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank located at 1230 Midwestern Parkway.
Morath Orchard and Young's Orchard and Berry Farms are the vendors that will be selling fresh, local produce. Each business accepts vouchers as a form of payment.