Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

The purposes of the Senior Farmers? Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) are: (1) Provide resources in the form of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs from farmers? markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs to low-income seniors;
(2) Increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic farmers? markets, roadside stands, and CSAs; and (3) Develop or aid in the development of new and additional farmers? markets, roadside stands, and CSAs.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: 52 State agencies, U.S.

Territories and federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations.

Fiscal Year 2017: 52 State agencies, U.S.

Territories and federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations.

Fiscal Year 2018: 52 State agencies, U.S.

Territories and federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Human Services, Illinois Department Of $ 80,725   2021-10-012023-09-30
Indiana State Department Of Health $ 13,726   2021-10-012023-09-30
Human Services, Illinois Department Of $ 726,524   2021-10-012023-09-30
Indiana State Department Of Health $ 123,530   2021-10-012023-09-30
Health And Social Services, Alaska Department Of $ 76,064   2021-10-012022-09-30
Department Of Agriculture Nevada $ 18,333   2021-10-012022-09-30
Human Services Vermont Agency Of $ 10,097   2021-10-012022-09-30
Human Services Vermont Agency Of $ 90,870   2021-10-012022-09-30
Environmental Management, Rhode Island Dept Of $ 297,393   2021-10-012022-09-30
Agriculture, Connecticut Department Of $ 8,049   2021-10-012022-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 816,207 Participants, 20,129 Farmers, 3,582 Farmers? Markets, 2,693 Roadside Stands, 114 Community Supported Agriculture Programs. . Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The SFMNP is administered through a federal/State partnership in which the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awards cash grants to States, U. S. Territories and federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers? markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

The majority of grant funds must be used for benefits.

State agencies may use up to 10 percent of their grants for program administrative costs.

Coupons are issued to eligible SFMNP participants to buy eligible foods from farmers, farmers? markets, roadside stands, or CSAs that have been authorized by the State agency to accept SFMNP coupons.

The federal SFMNP benefit level, whether a household or individual, may not be less than $20 or no more than $50 per year, per recipient.

However, State agencies may also supplement the federal benefit level with State, local or private funds.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Each State agency desiring to administer the SFMNP shall annually submit a State Plan of Operations and enter into a written agreement with FNS for administration of the Program in the jurisdiction of the State agency.

New State agencies are selected based on the availability of funds, after base grants, for currently participating State agencies.

Local SFMNP agencies are selected by participating State agencies based on concentration of eligible senior participants and access to farmers' markets.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Persons eligible for the program are low-income seniors, generally defined as individuals who are at least 60 years old and who have household incomes of not more than 185 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines (published each year by the Department of Health and Human Services). Some State agencies accept proof of participation or enrollment in another means-tested program, such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), for SFMNP eligibility. Individual participants apply for SFMNP benefits at authorized SFMNP local agencies.


A signed Federal/State Agreement (FNS-339) is necessary before funds can be allocated to a participating SFMNP State agency. Costs will be determined in accordance with FNS guidelines and instructions. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Application is made through submission of a State Plan of Operations as required by law.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The State agency is responsible for the fiscal management of and accountability for SFMNP-related activities for farmers, farmers? markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs. Each State agency may decide whether to authorize individual farmers and farmers? markets separately, or to authorize only farmers? markets. In addition, each State agency may decide whether to authorize roadside stands and/or CSA programs. The State agency may authorize a farmer for participation in a farmers? market, a roadside stand, and/or CSA program simultaneously. All contracts or agreements entered into by the State agency for the management or operation of farmers, farmers? markets, roadside stands, and/or CSA programs shall conform to the requirements of 7 CFR 3016. Only farmers, farmers? markets, and/or roadside stands authorized by the State agency may redeem SFMNP coupons.

Award Procedures

Funds are awarded by the Department on the basis of funding formulas to State agencies. If the available funds are insufficient to meet the base grant levels for current SFMNP grantees, a pro-rata reduction will be applied to the grant levels awarded to all participating SFMNP State agencies. To the extent permitted by available funds, each State agency shall receive at least $75,000 or the amount that the State agency received for the most recent prior fiscal year in which the State participated, if that amount is less than $75,000. If additional funds become available for the SFMNP, such funds would first be distributed evenly among the current grantees to make whole their base grants for that fiscal year. Grant payments are made by a letter of credit.


Nov 15, 2017: Set forth in the announcement. By November 15 of each year, each applying or participating State agency shall submit to FNS for approval a State Plan of Operations for the following year as a prerequisite to receiving federal funds.


Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-171, §4402, 116 Stat. 334 7 U.S.C. §3007.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

FNS will provide written approval or denial of a completed State Plan of Operations or amendment within 30 days of receipt.


All decisions by the FNS are final.


This Program is authorized beginning October 1 of any calendar year and ending September 30 of the following calendar year.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

SFMNP funds are provided using Federal Reserve Bank letters of credit. State agencies may withdraw funds only as needed. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: All SFMNP coupons must be issued prior to September 30 and must be redeemed by November 30 of each fiscal year.

Post Assistance Requirements


State agencies must submit financial and SFMNP performance data on a yearly basis as specified by FNS.

Such information must include, but shall not be limited to: (1) Number of participants served with Federal SFMNP funds; (2) Value of coupons issued and/or eligible foods ordered under CSA programs; (3) Value of coupons redeemed and/or eligible foods provided to participants under CSA programs; and (4) Number of authorized outlets by type; i.e., farmers, farmers? markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Each State agency must maintain full and complete records concerning SFMNP operations. Such records must comply with part 3016 of this title and the following requirements: (1) Records must include, but not be limited to, information pertaining to certification, financial operations, SFMNP coupon issuance and redemption, authorized outlet (farmers, farmers? markets, and CSA program) agreements, authorized outlet monitoring, CSA program agreements, invoices, delivery receipts, equipment purchases and inventory, nutrition education, fair hearings, and civil rights procedures. (2) All records must be retained for a minimum of 3 years following the date of submission of the final expenditure report for the period to which the report pertains.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Formula Grants) FY 16 $20,273,000; FY 17 est $20,734,000; and FY 18 est $20,600,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

FY 2016 grants ranged from $7,953 to $1,766,323.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR 249, 7 CFR Part 3016, 7 CFR Part 3017, 7 CFR Part 3018

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Sarah Widor, Director, Supplemental Food Programs 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Phone: (703) 305-2729 Fax: (703) 305-2196

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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