Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Final Rule: SFMNP Regulations, Nondiscretionary Provisions of PL 110-246

Publication Date
RIN
Resource type
Final Rule
Resource Materials

This final rule incorporates into the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program regulations, statutory provisions set forth in Section 4231 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (PL 110–246, also known as the Farm Bill of 2008). The three provisions include adding honey as an eligible food for purchase with Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) benefits, prohibiting the value of SFMNP benefits from consideration as income or resources when determining eligibility for other programs under any federal, state or local law, and prohibiting the collection of state or local tax on a purchase of food with a benefit distributed under the SFMNP.

PL 110–246, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (also known as the Farm Bill, hereinafter referred to as ‘‘the Act’’), includes three nondiscretionary provisions regarding the SFMNP. The three provisions add honey as an eligible food; prohibit the value of SFMNP benefits from consideration as income when determining eligibility for other programs under any federal, state or local law; and prohibit the collection of state or local tax on a purchase of food with SFMNP benefits.

This final rule implements these nondiscretionary SFMNP provisions verbatim as reflected in Section 4231 of the Act. No discretion has been exercised by the Department in the implementation of these provisions.

1. Honey as an Eligible Food Section 4231 of the Act amends Section 4402(b)(1) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 USC 3007) to add honey as an eligible food for purchase with SFMNP benefits.

This provision of the law was effective Oct. 1, 2008. Previously, state agencies were only permitted to authorize fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs as eligible foods. This provision gives state agencies the flexibility to add honey to their eligible foods lists for the SFMNP.

The SFMNP regulations have been revised to reflect the addition of honey as an eligible SFMNP food.

2. No Aid Reduction Section 4231 of the Act amends Section 4402 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 USC 3007) to include a provision that excludes SFMNP benefits from consideration as income or resources for any purposes under any federal, state or local law.

This provision would exclude SFMNP benefits from the determination of eligibility for other means tested programs, bringing the SFMNP in line with other Department of Agriculture nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). Section 249.25 of the SFMNP regulations has been amended to include this provision.

3. Prohibition on Collecting Sales Tax Section 4231 of the Act further amends Section 4402 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 USC 3007) to include a provision that prohibits the collection of state or local tax on the purchase of foods purchased with SFMNP benefits. This provision also brings SFMNP in line with other Department of Agriculture nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC and FMNP. Section 249.10 of the SFMNP regulations has been amended to include this provision.

09/23/2009