What is the SFMNP?
The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
awards grants to States, United States Territories, and
federally-recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income
seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits,
vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at farmers' markets, roadside
stands, and community supported agriculture programs. The majority of
the grant funds must be used to support the costs of the foods that are
provided under the SFMNP; State agencies may use up to 10 percent of
their grants to support administrative costs for the program.
What is the purpose of the SFMNP?
The purposes of the Senior Farmers' Market
Nutrition Program are to:
(1) Provide resources
in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown
fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs from farmers' markets,
roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs to
(2) Increase the domestic consumption of
agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the expansion
of domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community
supported agriculture programs, and
(3) Develop or aid in the development of new
and additional farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community
supported agriculture programs.
Where does the SFMNP
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, grants were
awarded to 51 State agencies and federally recognized Indian Tribal
Organizations (ITOs) to operate the SFMNP: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona,
Arkansas, California, Chickasaw Nation (Oklahoma), Connecticut, the
District of Columbia, Five Sandoval Pueblos (New Mexico), Florida,
Georgia, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians (Michigan),
Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, the
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oregon, Oklahoma, Osage Nation (Oklahoma), Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico,
Rhode Island, San Felipe Pueblo (New Mexico), South Carolina, Standing
Rock Sioux (North Dakota), Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia,
Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Not all State agencies operate
the SFMNP on a statewide basis.
Who is eligible for SFMNP benefits?
Low-income seniors, generally defined as
individuals who are at least 60 years old and who have household incomes
of not more than 185% of the federal poverty income guidelines
(published each year by the Department of Health and Human Services),
are the targeted recipients of SFMNP benefits. Some State agencies
accept proof of participation or enrollment in another means-tested
program, such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program or the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for SFMNP eligibility.
How many recipients are served?
In FY 2011, benefits were available to 863,097
low-income seniors from 19,069 farmers at 4,598 farmers' markets as well
as 3,445 roadside stands and 141 community supported agriculture
When does the SFMNP operate?
SFMNP benefits are provided to eligible
recipients for use during the harvest season, which is generally May
through October. In some States, the SFMNP season is shorter, because
the growing season in that area is not very long. In other States with
longer growing seasons, recipients have a longer period of time in which
to use their SFMNP benefits.
How does the SFMNP operate?
The SFMNP is administered by State
agencies such as State Department of Agriculture or Aging. As a
prerequisite to receiving Federal funds for the SFMNP, each applying or
participating State agency must submit a State Plan describing how the
State agency intends to implement, operate and administer all aspects of
the SFMNP within its jurisdiction. Coupons are issued to eligible SFMNP
participants to buy eligible foods from farmers, farmersí markets,
roadside stands, or CSAs that have been approved by the State agency to
accept SFMNP coupons. The farmers, farmersí markets, roadside stands or
CSA then submit the redeemed SFMNP coupons to the bank or State agency
The Federal SFMNP benefit level, whether a household
or individual, may not be less than $20 or no more than $50 per each
farmersí market calendar year, except for certain State agencies that
were grandfathered in the SFMNP using a different benefit level. State
agencies may also supplement the benefit level with State, local or
Nutrition education is provided to SFMNP recipients by
the State agency, often through an arrangement with the local WIC
agency. Other program partners may provide nutrition education and/or
educational information to SFMNP recipients. For example, Cooperative
Extension Programs, local Area Agencies on Aging, local chefs, farmers
or farmersí markets associations, and various other non-profit or
for-profit organizations may provide nutrition education to SFMNP
recipients. These educational arrangements help to encourage SFMNP
recipients to improve and expand their diets by adding fresh fruits and
vegetables, as well as educate them on how to select, store and prepare
the fresh fruits and vegetables they buy with their SFMNP coupons.
of Participating SFMNP State agencies - names, addresses, phone
numbers, emails, and websites
What foods are available through the SFMNP?
Fresh, nutritious, unprocessed fruits, vegetables,
honey, and fresh-cut herbs can be purchased with SFMNP benefits. State
agencies may limit SFMNP sales to specific foods that are locally grown
in order to encourage SFMNP recipients to support the farmers in their
own States. Certain foods are not eligible for purchase with SFMNP
benefits; these include dried fruits or vegetables, such as prunes
(dried plums), raisins (dried grapes), sun-dried tomatoes or dried chili
peppers. Potted fruit or vegetable plants, potted or dried herbs, wild
rice, nuts of any kind (even raw), maple syrup, cider, and molasses are
also not allowed.
How does a farmer or
farmersí market become authorized to accept SFMNP?
Each State agency is responsible for
authorizing individual farmers, farmersí markets, roadside stands or all
of the above. Only farmers, farmersí markets, roadside stands and CSA
authorized by the State agency may accept and redeem SFMNP coupons.
Individuals, who exclusively sell produce grown by someone else, such as
wholesale distributors, cannot be authorized to participate in the SFMNP.
The SFMNP contact person for each State agency can be found at:
What is the current funding
The 2008 Farm Bill provided $20.6 million
annually to operate the Program through 2012.
What are the SFMNP grant
levels by State?
SFMNP Grant levels by
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Last modified 06/29/12