The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program is available to supplement the diets of qualifying low-income seniors in many states, territories and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) throughout the U.S.
Through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, low-income seniors receive coupons that can be used to purchase eligible food items from farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) and roadside stands. During the 2017 fiscal year, for instance, the program supplemented the diets of around 811,809 low-income seniors in the U.S.
With SFMNP benefits, program participants can purchase eligible food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, helping low-income seniors to improve their diets and live healthier lives. To qualify for food vouchers under this program, however, seniors must meet age and income restrictions, or they must be eligible for benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). To learn more about this program and how to apply, review the sections below.
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program supplements the diets of elderly citizens who meet age and income restrictions. Through this program, qualifying seniors receive coupons for purchasing locally-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from participating farmers’ markets, CSAs and roadside stands. With these benefits, seniors may purchase eligible food items during the harvest season, including unprocessed fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs. In most states, the harvest season runs from May through October. However, the harvest season may run longer or shorter in some states.
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Moreover, the federal SFMNP benefit amount ranges between $20 and $50 per household (or individual), per month. However, seniors cannot use their vouchers to purchase maple syrup, molasses, nuts, wild rice, dried fruits or vegetables and potted fruits, vegetables and herbs. Dried fruits and vegetables include prunes, raisins, dried chili peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. Additionally, the CSA, roadside stand or farmers’ market must be authorized by the state to accept and redeem these food vouchers.
To be eligible for Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program benefits, applicants must be at least 60 years of age and meet income restrictions. For instance, seniors must reside in a household that earns a gross income of no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). In some states, seniors may also qualify for these food vouchers if they are eligible for benefits under SNAP or CSFP. However, they must present proof of their program eligibility.
To learn more about these Farmers Market Nutrition Program income requirements for 48 contiguous states, including the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories, refer to the following chart:
|Annual Income 100%
|Annual Income 130%
|Annual Income 185%
|Each additional family member||Add $4,320||Add $5,616||Add $7,992|
Additionally, annual SFMNP income requirements for states such as Alaska and Hawaii include the following:
100% of FPL
130% of FPL
185% of FPL
100% of FPL
130% of FPL
185% of FPL
|Additional members||Add $5,400||Add $6,799||Add $9,990||$4,970||Add $6,461||Add $9,195|
Currently, farmers’ market nutrition program vouchers are accepted in many cities and states throughout the U.S. During the 2017 fiscal year. For instance, 19,449 farmers, 94 CSAs, 2,541 roadside stands, and 3,641 farmers’ markets received authorization to accept these program vouchers. While many states do not operate the program on a statewide basis, 52 State Agencies, ITOs and U.S. Territories accept these vouchers throughout the nation.
For instance, senior farmers’ market nutrition locations are available in states such as: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Nationwide ITOs that participate in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program include the following:
To obtain vouchers under the farmers’ market nutrition program for seniors, applicants must contact the participating agency in the state in which they reside. While these often include Agencies on Aging and State Departments of Agriculture, not all states participate in the program. To obtain contact information for states that do participate in the program, refer to the following chart:
|AL||Department of Agriculture & Industries||334-240-7249||MT||Department of Public Health & Human Services||406-444-7786|
|AK||Department of Health & Social Services||907-465-3100||NE||Department of Agriculture||402-471-2341|
|AZ||Department of Health Services||602-542-0379||NV||Department of Agriculture||775-353-3758|
|AR||Department of Human Services||501-320-6557||NH||Department of Health & Human Services||603-271-4546|
|CA||Department of Food & Agriculture||916-657-3231||NJ||Department of Health||609-292-9560|
|CT||Department of Agriculture||860-713-2559||NM||Department of Health||505-476-8801|
|DC||Department of Health||202-442-9140||NY||Department of Agriculture & Markets||1-800-554-4501|
|FL||Department of Elder Affairs||850-414-2000||NC||Department of Health & Human Services||919-855-3400|
|GA||Department of Public Health||404-657-2900||OK||Department of Human Services||405-521-2281|
|HI||Department of Labor & Industrial Relations||808-586-3957||OR||Department of Human Services||886-299-3562|
|IL||Department of Human Services||217-782-2166||OH||Department of Aging||614-466-9919|
|IN||State Department of Health||1-800-522-0874||PA||Department of Agriculture||717-772-2693|
|IA||Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship||515-281-5321||PR||Department of Agriculture||787-475-05630|
|KS||Department of Health & Environment||785-296-2330||RI||Department of Environmental Management||401-222-6800|
|KY||Department of Agriculture||502-782-9241||SC||Department of Social Services||1-800-616-1309|
|LA||Department of Agriculture & Forestry||985-345-9483||TN||Department of Health||615-741-7218|
|MA||Department of Agricultural Resources||617-626-1744||TX||Department of Agriculture||512-475-0069|
|MD||Department of Agriculture||410-841-5776||VT||Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living||802-241-0529|
|ME||Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry||207-287-7526||VA||Department of Aging & Rehabilitative Services||804-662-9319|
|MI||Office of Services to the Aging||517-373-8230||WA||Aging & Disability Services Administration||360-725-2466|
|MN||Department of Agriculture||1-800-942-1636||WV||Department of Agriculture||304-558-2210|
|MS||Department of Agriculture||601-359-1100||WI||Department of Health Services||608-266-1865|
Moreover, SFMNP contact information for participating ITOs include the following:
|Indian Tribal Organization (ITO)||Telephone Number|
|Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma||1-800-522-6170|
|Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos||505-771-5386|
|Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa &
|Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians||601-389-4510|
|Osage Tribe of Oklahoma||918-287-5455|
|San Felipe Pueblo||505-771-7200|
|Standing Rock Sioux Tribe||701-854-3846|
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