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Information Collection: Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

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In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection of information relating to the reporting and recordkeeping burden associated with the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).

Abstract

The USDA, FNS, created the SFMNP in 2000 as a pilot program awarding grants to state agencies (including geographic states, U.S. territories, and federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs)) on a competitive basis. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill), PL 107-171, authorized the SFMNP, beginning fiscal year (FY) 2003, and gave USDA the authority to develop regulations for the SFMNP. These regulations are published at 7 CFR part 249. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), PL 115-334, reauthorized the SFMNP through fiscal year 2023.

The purpose of the SFMNP is to provide resources in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey from farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs to low income seniors; to increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs; and to develop or aid in the development of new and additional farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs.

The 2018 Farm Bill and SFMNP regulations at 7 CFR part 249 require that certain program-related information be collected and that full and complete records concerning SFMNP operations are maintained. The information reporting and recordkeeping requirements are necessary to ensure appropriate and efficient management of the SFMNP program. These burden activities are covered by this Information Collection Request (ICR) which include requirements that involve the authorization and monitoring of state agencies; the certification of SFMNP participants; the nutrition education that is provided to participants; farmer, farmers' market, roadside stand, and CSA program authorization, training, monitoring, and management; and financial and participation data (using SFMNP Annual Financial and Program Data Report (FNS 683A), which is approved (both the form and its associated reporting burden) under OMB Control Number: 0584-0594 Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS), expiration Date: 07/31/2023). The recordkeeping burden associated with this form is not approved under OMB Control Number 0584-0594. State agencies must maintain records in order to support data reported in FPRS, and the recordkeeping burden for such record maintenance is captured in this ICR, OMB Control Number: 0584-0541. State plans are the principal source of information about how each state agency operates its SFMNP. Information from participants and local agencies is collected through state-developed forms or management information systems. The information collected is used by USDA/FNS to manage, plan, evaluate, make decisions and report on SFMNP program operations. Along with the state plans, state agencies also submit the Federal-State Supplemental Nutrition Programs Agreements (FNS-339) whose reporting and recordkeeping burden is associated and approved under OMB Control Number: 0584-0332, expiration Date: 04/30/2022.

This information collection is requesting a revision in the burden hours due to program changes and adjustments that primarily reflect the inclusion of existing requirements that have been in use without PRA approval and are being added into this collection to correct this oversight, such as requirements related to the activities that authorized outlets need to perform in order to participate in the program and the maintenance of records and systems by state and local agencies. This information collection is requesting a revision in the burden hours due to program changes and adjustments that also reflects expected decreases in the number of SFMNP participants; SFMNP authorized farmers, farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs (authorized outlets); and SFMNP local agencies.

The currently approved burden for this collection is 449,090. FNS estimates the new burden at 1,143,986 burden hours, which is an increase of 694,896. The currently approved total annual responses are 2,549,454; we are requesting 2,400,726, which is a decrease of 148,728 total annual responses.

Updated: 05/27/2022