Grantee Blog

East Orange Introduces WIC Machine and WIFI Access at Farmer’s Market

This year’s NJHCN funding for the East Orange Farmer’s Market made the purchase of a WIC machine and WIFI access on the plaza possible, increasing accessibility to affordable local produce for thousands of East Orange residents. Cross marketing with the East Orange WIC program has greatly increased the amount of WIC receiving participants that attend the market. Increasing WIC participants directly benefits infants and children as more qualifying caregivers can now purchase fresh vitamin packed produce at the Farmers Market, which can be utilized in preparing baby food and school lunches. Healthy eating habits start with children and can become a vital component in avoiding future hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

Furthermore, advancements in social media and providing WIFI access has made it easier to reach East Orange School Students to inform them of goods and services provided at the East Orange Farmer’s Market. While the market is active, the market staff stream real time activities and information on Facebook Live, such as broadcasting food demonstrations and fitness activities. Likewise, Instagram is another source of social media that broadens the information accessibility amongst the East Orange community. With the increase in social media usage to promote market services and goods, there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of East Orange School Students who frequent the Farmers Market.

The East Orange Farmer’s Market is the perfect venue to teach children and teens about the benefits fresh produce can have on their health as they grow thus reducing future diagnoses of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. WIC machines encourage caretakers to purchase, prepare, and serve their children healthier foods and the WIFI access provides teenagers access to interactive online tools that encourage better eating habits.

About the Grantee

City of East Orange

East Orange is a 3.9 square mile city in Essex County, New Jersey with a community of approximately 65,000 residents (2014). East Orange shares borders with the following cities and towns: Newark to the east and south and Glen ridge and Bloomfield to the north. It is the States 20th most populous municipality in 2010 and ranked second of 22 in Essex County.