Last week, the Southampton Town Board voted to open its annual summer farmers market for another year at the Flanders community center.
Southampton Town is reapplying to the state’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which offers nutrition education, breastfeeding support, referrals and a variety of nutritious foods to low-income women, infants and children under 5, as well as vouchers to purchase healthy food at the market.
The state program focuses on pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5 to promote and support good health. The foods provided through WIC are a good source of nutrients often missing from the diets of low-income women and young children and participants have longer, healthier pregnancies and fewer premature births, the state says.
The Town also accepts nutrition program checks from senior citizens at the market and “food stamps,” which are now accepted through an electronic banking card.
The Flanders farmers market runs 16 Saturdays per summer, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from the end of June to mid-October. It has accepted various forms of state nutrition vouchers since its inception three years ago, and the Town works with local farmers who participate and provide food through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
Southampton legislative aide Kristen M. Doulos said the Town is looking into new ideas to grow the market and it already has plans to launch several social media initiatives.
To learn more about the state Farmers Market Nutrition Program, visit agriculture.ny.gov.