USDA's Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
USDA's Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) awards grants to States, Territories, and federally-recognized Indian Tribal Organizations to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be used at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. Program coupons can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey from farmers at authorized farmers' markets or roadside stands. Program benefits may also be provided in the form of shares in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs for regularly distributed bags or boxes of eligible foods.
Senior Farmer's Market Nutrition Program currently operates in areas of 41 States, 7 tribal organizations, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Low-income seniors at least 60 years of age with household incomes of no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines ($26,955 for a two-person household as of July 1, 2009) are eligible to receive benefits. SFMNP participants' Federal food benefit for this program may be up to $50 per year. State agencies may supplement the per participant benefit level. In FY 2008, 963,685 low-income seniors purchased food with SFMNP benefits from 17,156 farmers at 3,159 farmers' markets, as well as 2,512 roadside stands and 199 CSA programs.
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