Program helps families afford fresh, local produce - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Program helps families afford fresh, local produce

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Eau Claire (WQOW)-  Some families that are struggling financially have said that it can be tough to eat healthy because of the cost. There are efforts to help more families afford fresh, local produce.

Rows of locally grown fruits and veggies are ripe for the picking at the Eau Claire Downtown Farmer's Market. It's a resource the county wants families enrolled in the Women, Infant and Child nutrition program to use.

During the summer and fall months, when local markets are open, mothers can receive a packet of vouchers in addition to their regular WIC checks, to buy fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. 

"Sometimes I think people think a lot of vegetables come from a can when it's here and it's fresh for them, and you can try different ways to cook it," said  Deidra Barrickman who manages the downtown farmer's market.

Dietary students have set up shop at the market, handing out samples and recipes, helping WIC families feel more comfortable purchasing, storing and cooking fresh produce.

"Everything we make they can get at the farmer's market," said Lauren Von Drashek, a UW Stout student. "It's just a new way for the kids try something maybe their parents haven't made for them and the parents will find out that my kid does like peppers or carrots."

The county began it's "Veggin out with WIC" program 7 years ago after realizing only 50 percent of the farmer's market vouchers they handed out, were being redeemed.

If you'd like more information on WIC call (715) 839-5051.

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