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Special to the News
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a federally funded program administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Farmers Market Authority Section.
The SFMNP provides eligible seniors with a $30 benefit card to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from certified farmers at farmers markets and farm stands in the state of Alabama.
Food benefits are available on a first come, first serve basis until available funds are committed. So don’t delay; complete an application today!
In order to be eligible for the SFMNP benefits, individuals must be 60 years of age or older on the day of application, and applicants’ gross household income must not exceed $1,756 monthly for a household of one or $2,371 monthly for a household of two.
For those who have more than two people in their household, visit http://fma.alabama.gov/SeniorNutrition for income eligibility guidelines.
The application and eligibility requirements can also be found online at http://fma.alabama.gov/SeniorNutrition. Applicants must apply online annually.
Unfortunately applications cannot be accepted over the phone or by mail. If anyone interested in applying needs assistance or does not have access to a computer, they may ask a relative, friend, church member, or other individual for assistance or can contact the Coosa County Extension Office at 256-377-4713 to complete the application for them with the information the applicant provides.
If approved, applicants will then receive their benefit cards by mail at the address given on their application.
Those who have already completed the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, or SFMNP, application for 2022 should be sure to check their mail in the next three to four weeks for the SFMNP benefit card.
It will be mailed in a regular window envelope with the return address for ADAI/FMA in Montgomery. The card replaces paper vouchers that applicants received in the past.
When those registered for SFMNP benefits wish to make a purchase of Alabama grown fresh fruits or vegetables from authorized farmers, they present their card just like they would a debit or credit card. The farmer will then scan the card, enter the amount of the purchase, the buyer will confirm the amount, and then the purchase is complete. It is that simple.
Benefits can be redeemed at state sanctioned farmers markets, farm stands and U-pick operations for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables, honey and cut herbs from May through November 15.
To view a list by county, visit http://www.fma.alabama.gov/FMCounty.aspx. Benefits cannot be used at a grocery store or any location that is not listed on our redemption site.
Participants are encouraged to keep the SFMNP card with their insurance card so they will know where it is.
Do not throw the card away. Participants will use the same card next year once they complete the online application for 2023, which will be available in January.