New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
August 9, 2017

Cathleen D. Bennett

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

NJ Health Commissioner, Agriculture Secretary to Visit Bridgeton Farmers Market during National Farmers Market Week

WIC Participants & Seniors Can Redeem Vouchers for Fresh Produce

As part of National Farmer’s Market Week (Aug. 6-12), NJ Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett and NJ Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher will join Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly and federal officials to visit and deliver remarks at Rottkamp Farms in Bridgeton on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. Eligible participants in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs can trade their farmers' market nutrition checks for pre-packaged bags of fresh fruits and vegetables grown at Rottkamp Farms and recipes on how to prepare the produce.

The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program works with local farmers to provide locally-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to women, infants and children. WIC certified farmers post yellow signs at farmers’ markets to indicate their certification. Participants receive their checks during their regular visits to local WIC agencies.

“This program helps local farmers sell fresh fruits and vegetables while providing families healthy, nutritious produce. But only 66 percent of WIC Farmers Market vouchers were redeemed statewide in 2016,” Commissioner Bennett said. “That means $301,843 worth of fresh produce that could have provided nutritious meals for needy children and families was returned to the federal government. We must do better.”

Farmers markets increase access to nutritious food, support healthy communities, address food insecurity, preserve farmland and stimulate local economies.

“This partnership provides an avenue for people to have greater access to Jersey Fresh produce,” New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher said. “The program promotes the sale of our fresh fruits and vegetables from our farmers.” The Jersey Fresh Availability Report contains a list of produce that is available each week.

The Department of Health's WIC program oversees the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. There are 210 certified farmers statewide serving all 21 New Jersey counties. Certified farmers can accept both WIC and Senior farmers market vouchers.

Each eligible WIC participant receives $20 worth of vouchers for the season to buy fresh produce from authorized farmers. The checks are issued one time for the entire season, and the program operates from June 1 to November 30 annually. All WIC clinics provide classes in nutrition education. Grocery stores and other food markets do not accept these checks. 

The total value of a WIC farmers market voucher for an entire family depends on family size and situation. For example:

  • Each pregnant woman eligible for WIC can receive two $10 vouchers per season ($20)
  • Each breastfeeding mother eligible for WIC can receive two $10 vouchers ($20)
  • Each child between the ages of 2 and 5-years-old can receive two $10 vouchers ($20)

The following WIC clinics have farmers come to them or have farm stands within walking distance:

  1. Tri-County WIC (covering Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties)
  2. Newark WIC
  3. North Hudson (CAP) WIC (farm stand across the street)
  4. Plainfield WIC (farm stand across the street)
  5. Rutgers NJ Medical School WIC
  6. Trinitas WIC in Elizabeth
  7. Children’s Home Society of NJ Mercer (Trenton)
  8. Saint Joseph WIC in Paterson
  9. East Orange (farmer delivers bags for next day pick-up by participants)

Some farmers also travel to WIC offices to sell produce and make it easier for participants to access fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Atlantic County: Pastore Orchards Farms in Hammonton - Wednesdays
  • Camden County: Vacchiano Farms in Washington - Mondays and Wednesdays (bagged produce only)
  • Cumberland County: Santaniello Farms in Vineland - Mondays and Fridays, (morning only)

Last summer, members of the Governor's cabinet formed the Population Health Action Team (PHAT) to create and advance policies that build healthy communities and improve health outcomes. Promoting consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the goals of the Action Team.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program promotes nutritional health among senior citizens by providing locally-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Participants must be at least 60 years old and meet certain Federal Income requirements. Each eligible senior can receive five, $5 vouchers per season ($25).

Many hospitals also offer farmers markets and mobile vans that address food insecurity by offering low-cost produce to vulnerable populations, including Virtua (multiple), Hackensack University Medical Center, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Sparta Health and Wellness/Newton Medical Center in Sparta, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Shore Medical Center in Somers Point.



NJ Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett

NJ Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher

Pat Dombroski, USDA Regional Administrator

Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly



August 10, 2017 at 1 p.m.



Rottkamp Farms
780 Shiloh Pike, Bridgeton, NJ 08302


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