Volume 01 | January 2019
Quarterly Update - January 2019
Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first iteration of the NAFMNP Quarterly Update! This update is brought to you by the NAFMNP Communications Committee. We are excited to be sending a newsletter in the form of the Quarterly Update in January, April, July, and October to all members. You may even receive some additional updates to inform you of news that is important to our community.
As you explore this Quarterly Update you will find information from your NAFMNP Committees , a Q&A with Washington D.C. , important dates and much more! We hope you enjoy!
Communications Committee Update
Hey there! My name is Erin Connell, and I am from Minnesota. As the current chair of the NAFMNP Communications Committee, I lead a group comprised of Donna Murray of Maine, Erin Fahsholtz of Alaska, Emily Carpenter of Kansas, Jessie Lupo of Washington, DC, and Rebecca Davidson of Massachusetts.

This Quarterly Update is our first accomplishment as a committee, and we are very excited to share it with the NAFMNP membership. We hope you find the materials presented in this update helpful and interesting. We appreciate your patience as we work towards perfecting our format and content over the next few updates.

We hope you enjoy this new method of communication. We look forward to developing additional ways to improve communication with NAFMNP membership in the future.

If you have any suggestions or questions relating to communications, please feel free to contact me directly at erin.connell@state.mn.us . We'd love to hear your suggestions for future content as well!
Member Spotlight: Get to know your fellow members
Volume 01: Washington, DC.
NAFMNP: How many seniors and WIC participants received benefits in your program during FY 2018 ?

DC: The WIC FMNP reached 11,861 WIC participants in FY2018; 3,772 women, 2,014 infants (6-12 months), and 6,075 children (1-5 years). The Senior FMNP reached close to 5,400 seniors.
 
NAFMNP: Tell us one accomplishment that you are proud of about your program.

DC: To boost redemption rates, we rebranded the program as a summertime program to encourage use of benefits in the heart of the summer when more vendors and produce are available. Despite a summer of rain, we saw a noticeable increase in vendor deposits during the months of July and August and attribute this increase to our new communications and branding efforts.
 
NAFMNP: What is one goal you have for your program in FY2019.

DC: We are working to transition the WIC and Senior FMNP food instruments from paper to electronic for FY2019. We believe this will further our efforts to make the program more user-friendly.
 
NAFMNP: Share one tip you have for other coordinators that you have learned or developed in your program.

DC: Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Connect with other WIC and Senior FMNP coordinators and utilize existing resources. The NAFMNP is a great conduit to share best practices and learn from others.
 
NAFMNP: Name one fact about yourself and/or your state/territory?

DC: In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cited the district as having the highest percentage of farmers' markets in the nation with a vendor who accepts WIC FMNP benefits -- 83.3%!  https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/fruits-vegetables/2018/2018-fruit-vegetable-report-508.pdf
Policy/Legislative Committee Update
Hello all! My name is Jessie Parker, and I am the current Chair of the Policy/Legislative Committee for NAFMNP. 
 
One of the hot topics in our world right now is the 2018 Farm Bill. The massive document is expected to be signed by President Trump, as it passed both chambers of Congress last week with little resistance after much was accomplished by the Conference Committee. The $867 billion dollar bill continues to support the farmer market nutritional programs, albeit not with as much expansion as the NAFMNP had hoped for. The Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Program will continue to operate as it did during the previous Farm Bill, with an extension to 2023. The Traditional and Locally-Grown Food Fund in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) was reauthorized with the intent for tribal organizations to have an increased role in procuring and distributing more tribal produced foods (Title IV—Nutrition). 
 
Work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were kept at the current requirement already established in law, but a decrease in the exemption rate to 12 percent from 15 percent was approved. States will maintain the ability to exempt up to 12 percent from the able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD). Improvements to the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system were approved, including to allow a farmers market to operate a point of sale device at more than one location if certain requirements are met. It is noted that the drafters of the bill recognize the importance of SNAP acceptance at farmers markets, and cited $22.4 million SNAP benefits were redeemed in 2017 (Title IV—Nutrition); while also acknowledges the challenges to increasing acceptance. The Farm Bill also noted the success of the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, and hopes to build upon that success.
 
The massive bill included many other topics which may be of interest. Other important facets of the bill include:
  • Industrial hemp will be legalized
  • Funding was included to help with the opioid crisis in rural America
  • Funding was included to promote farmers use of renewable energy, as well as funding to expand high-speed internet to rural communities

If you have any questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Policy/Legislative Committee. We are here for you, and will help you find the information needed! 
Thankful for Our Partners: United Way
United Way of Mat-Su (UWMS) is honored to assist the Alaska Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program in processing applications, determining eligibility and distributing coupons to seniors statewide. While Alaska is known for its high-quality produce, access to fruits and vegetables can be limited for our seniors, especially given our short growing season.
 
The SFMNP program increases access to fresh produce for Alaska seniors by alleviating some of the cost of these items. In 2018, seniors were issued six $5.00 coupons, rather than the previous five coupons, a blessing for seniors and farmers alike. A favorite trick of senior center residents is to cook and can their farmers' market finds together; preserving both nutrition and tradition. UWMS also serves as the fiscal agent for Alaskan farmers, working with the state to process and issue prompt reimbursement via mailed checks, and to annually update lists of approved vendors.

Pictured: Michele Harmeling, United Way Mat-Su
Conference Committee Update

The NAFMNP Conference Committee is hard at work planning another wonderful conference. Additional details will be shared as they become available, but until then remember to save the date!
Save the Date

2019 Annual NAFMNP Conference

Des Moines, Iowa

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - Friday, September 6, 2019
Associate Member Feature: Premier Marketing
Since 2005, Premier Marketing Group, Inc. has partnered with NAFMNP in a program that has generated over $300,000.00 in non-dues revenue to help support the Association. Premier Marketing Group specializes in providing outreach, nutrition education and incentive items that support the marketing of FMNP and WIC programs. A portion of the proceeds from each sale to an Association member or anyone referred by an Association member is rebated back to NAFMNP.

For more information about this program and how you can get involved please contact Rick Dosedlo at 800-427-6767, ext. 1002 or email to rickyd@pmginc.biz .  For information on Premier Marketing Group you can visit their website at www.pmginc.biz and click on the Health & Nutrition tab
Education and Marketing Committee Update
The NAFMNP Education and Marketing Committee would like to announce an upcoming webinar.

Farmer Training/Authorization/Re-authorization Webinar

This session will introduce emerging technology in the area of Farmer Training, Authorization and Re-Authorization. Learn about how other states are streamlining their programs and reducing the burden of paperwork. The webinar will be at 1:00 pm EST on February 12, 2019. Click here to register.​
Important Dates

January 31, 2019 : Deadline to Closeout FFY18 S/FMNP

September 4, 2019 : 2019 Annual NAFMNP Conference Begins
Our next NAFMNP Quarterly Update will be sent in April!