With farmers’ market season in full swing, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s (NDA) Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is back.
The program, in its 13th year, provides low-income senior citizens with coupons that can be exchanged for fresh locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from NDA certified produce vendors.
NDA received a $219,973 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for this year’s program. The funds are used to reimburse farmers for the coupons they accept.
“Each year, this program assists more than 5,000 low-income senior citizens across the state to obtain fresh, locally grown products to enrich their diets,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach. “This program also will benefit the over 460 growers who have been certified to accept the coupons, because it’s an opportunity to increase their marketshare.”
The SFMNP was established as a pilot program in 2000, and re-authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Coupons are available to low-income seniors, during the month of June, from their local senior centers. A map identifying the locations of Nebraska’s farmers’ markets, roadside stands and U-pick operations is available online at www.ourbesttoyou.nebraska.gov or by calling 800 422 6692. Coupons can be redeemed at NDA-certified produce vendors only. Those vendors must display a NDA-certified stall sign.
Nebraska's SFMNP is a joint effort between NDA, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Medicaid and Long-Term Care – State Unit on Aging, Nebraska DHHS Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Nebraska Area Agencies on Aging, and Nebraska senior centers.
Low-income seniors interested in more information about SFMNP coupons should contact the Nebraska DHHS Medicaid and Long-Term Care – State Unit on Aging at 800 942-7830.