Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program is a federal nutrition assistance program, administered in our state by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. The program assists low income seniors and families that receive WIC as well as local farmers.
Usually occurring in April/May, seniors 60 years or older who live in Orleans Parish can apply at one of several pop-up locations run by Catholic Charities. In surrounding parishes, the local Council on Aging typically handles the application process. Booklets with vouchers that function like checks are mailed in early summer and are good through the end of November. They can be spent at market directly with vendors who have the pictured yellow placard displayed at their tent on fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey.
For Orleans Parish WIC participants, the booklets are available from the WIC office, or sometimes distributed at Crescent City Farmers Markets by WIC offices starting in early summer and can be spent directly with certified farmers for the purchase of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs (no honey because of the potential risk of botulism for babies under 1 year). Market Umbrella also doubles WIC FMNP vouchers with tokens issued at the welcome tent.
Farmers can apply to accept the vouchers by contacting the LDAF, who will come to visit the farm and verify local production.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.