(Feb. 18, 9:35 a.m.) More than $5.6 million in checks from the New York Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, the largest in the country, were redeemed in 2008.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program provides coupons for fresh produce to participants in the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the Women, Infants and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

The $5.6 million was spread over 364,000 households, according to a news release. A majority, 250,000, were part of the WIC program, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets release. The Albany-based department administers the program.

The vouchers were redeemed at 400 farmers’ markets across the state, according to the release, and 975 growers participated.

The program runs from June to November in New York. The New York Department of Health and the New York Office for the Aging distribute the checkbooks, and participants have until Nov. 15 to use them, according to the release.