Kids Farmers Market
Also known as the “Kids Coupon” program, the Kids Farmers Market is a project from the WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program dedicated to supplying low income schools, child care centers and communities with access to fresh, local fruit and vegetables. The program has been funded through a grant from the Eye Foundation of America.
How Does the Kids Farmers Market Work?
Markets are brought to different locations for easy accessibility and each child receives $4 in farmers market vouchers to purchase different produce from local farmers. Children and their families can sample the products, learn more about proper nutrition and get to go home with recipes, reusable shopping bags and small kitchen items.
The market encourages children to try different fruits and vegetables and begin a healthy lifestyle from a young age.
Why is the Kids Farmers Market Important?
West Virginia ranks first in obesity out of all 50 states and has a childhood obesity rate of over 16 percent in ages 2 to 4 and 35 percent in ages 10 to 17, according to the State of Obesity.
According to a study by the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, West Virginia ranks fourth in the nation for number of adults who eat less than one fruit or vegetable a day.
Results of the Kids Farmers Market
Over 5,400 children across the state in 30 counties have been provided with vouchers to shop at a farmers market. The Kids Farmers Markets have occurred at the following locations:
- 18 child care centers
- 9 community events
- 3 farmers markets
- 1 health center
- 21 schools
- 1 summer feeding site
West Virginia farmers also have benefited from the program with a $20,000 increase
in revenue over the past year.
For more information about the Kids Farmers Markets, including information on becoming a vendor, please email Kristin McCartney.