Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) recipients have until November 27, 2023, to utilize existing benefits

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MONTGOMERY-The deadline to use 2023 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) benefits has been extended to November 27. Recipients are encouraged to visit participating locations to use existing program benefits before they expire. Benefits can be redeemed at state-sanctioned farmers markets, farm stands, and U-Pick operations for fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, honey, and cut herbs. A list of participating locations by county is available online. Benefits cannot be used at grocery stores or any location not listed on the redemption site.
SFMNP is a federally funded program administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Farmers Market Authority Section. SFMNP provides eligible seniors with $50 in annual benefits to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from certified farmers at farmers markets and farm stands in the state of Alabama. Applications are currently closed, but will reopen in January 2024. Those who are 60 years of age or older and whose household income does not exceed the following eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply:
$2,248 monthly……for a household of ——1
$3,041 monthly……for a household of ——2
Income eligibility requirements for additional household sizes can be found online at https://agi.alabama.gov/farmersmarket/links-and-resources/farmers-market-voucher-coupon-program/#How_To_Apply_for_SENIOR_FMNP_Coupons.
A new SFMNP application must be completed online each year and applicants should keep the confirmation page. SFMNP recipients will be issued a card containing their SFMNP benefits. This card will be reloaded each year that an application is submitted and should therefore be kept in a safe place.
In Alabama, 8.9 percent of seniors are food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to enough nutritious foods for an active and healthy life. This is higher than the national average of 7.1 percent.
According to the National Institute on Aging, eating healthfully and having an active lifestyle can support healthy aging. Enjoying a variety of foods from each food group can help reduce the risk of developing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Additionally, a diet rich in nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help manage existing chronic diseases. Participation in SFMNP helps eligible seniors access fresh fruits and vegetables across the state so they can live longer, healthier lives.
For information on additional resources, visitFood Access Resources at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/npa/food-access.htmland be sure to apply for SFMNP at https://agi-app.alabama.gov/fma/seniorNutrition/OffSeasonin January 2024 when applications reopen.

Media Release/Don Wambles/ Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries/Lita Chatham/ Alabama Department of Public Health

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