Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
1. What is the Senior Farmers'
Market Nutrition Program
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition
Program (SFMNP) is a program in which
grants are awarded 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 at farmers’
markets, roadside stands, and community 3. Who is eligible for SFMNP
supported agriculture programs. The grant benefits?
funds may be used only to support the
costs of the foods that are provided under Low-income seniors, generally defined as
the SFMNP; no administrative funding is individuals who are at least 60 years old
available. and who have household incomes of not
more than 185% of the federal poverty
2. What is the purpose of the income guidelines (published each year by
SFMNP? the Department of Health and Human
Services) are the targeted recipients of
The purposes of the Senior Farmers’ SFMNP benefits. Some State agencies
Market Nutrition Program are to: accept proof of participation or enrollment
in another means-tested program, such as
1. Provide fresh, nutritious, the Commodity Supplemental Food
unprepared, locally grown fruits, Program or Food Stamps, for SFMNP
vegetables, and herbs from eligibility.
farmers’ markets, roadside stands
and community supported 4. When does the SFMNP operate?
agriculture programs to low-
income seniors, and SFMNP benefits are provided to eligible
recipients for use during the harvest
2. Increase the consumption of season. In some States, the SFMNP season
agricultural commodities by is relatively short, because the growing
expanding, developing, or aiding in season in that area is not very long. In
the development and expansion of other States with longer growing seasons,
domestic farmers’ markets, recipients have a longer period of time in
roadside stands, and community which to use their SFMNP benefits.
supported agriculture programs.
5. Where does the SFMNP Fresh, nutritious, unprepared fruits,
operate? vegetables, and fresh-cut herbs can be
purchased with SFMNP benefits. State
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, grants were agencies may limit SFMNP sales to
awarded to 47 State agencies and federally specific foods that are locally grown in
recognized Indian tribal governments to order to encourage SFMNP recipients to
operate the SFMNP: Alabama, Alaska, support the farmers in their own States.
Arkansas, California, the Chickasaw Certain foods are not eligible for purchase
Nation in Oklahoma, Colorado, with SFMNP benefits; these include dried
Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Five fruits or vegetables, such as prunes (dried
Sandoval Pueblos (New Mexico), Florida, plums), raisins (dried grapes), sun-dried
the Grand Traverse Indians in Michigan, tomatoes or dried chili peppers. Potted
Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, fruit or vegetable plants, potted or dried
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, herbs, wild rice, nuts of any kind (even
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, raw), honey, maple syrup, cider, and
Mississippi, the Mississippi Band of molasses are also not allowed.
Choctaw Indians, Missouri, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, 8. Who has the administrative
Oregon, the Osage Tribal Council in responsibility for the SFMNP?
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico,
Rhode Island, San Felipe Pueblo (New USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service
Mexico), South Carolina, Tennessee, administers the SFMNP grants.
Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West
Virginia, and Wisconsin. What is the current funding level?
6. How does the SFMNP operate? For FY 2002-2007, Congress provided a
total of $15 million for the SFMNP.
Once the SFMNP benefits have been
issued to eligible seniors, they can be used 10. How many recipients are
to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, served in the SFMNP?
locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs
at authorized farmers’ markets, roadside In FY 2003, more than 700,000 people
stands, and community supported received SFMNP coupons.
agriculture programs. In 2003, these
products were available from over 13,000
farmers at more than 2,000 farmers’
11. How can I obtain further
markets as well as close to 1,700 roadside information?
stands and more than 200 community For further information, please visit our
supported agriculture programs. website at:
7. What foods are available
through the SFMNP?