farmers market coupons are now gone for 2015. thanks to everyone who participated in the program!
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.
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 low-income seniors,
(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.
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.
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 Nebraska, you can use your Farmers Market Coupons until October 31, 2015.
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), baked rolls or pastries, maple syrup, cider, jelly, and molasses are also not allowed.
How does a farmer or farmers’ market become authorized to accept SFMNP?
Each State agency is responsible for authorizing individual farmers, farmers’ markets, roadside stands or all of the above. Only farmers, farmers’ 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 here.