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Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

The SFMNP(External Link) program is authorized under 7CFR Part 249 USDA Food and Nutrition Services. While it became a permanent federal program in Fiscal Year 2007, it has operated in New York since 1989, when it began as a state initiative. Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets works with NYSOFA, DOH and Cornell University (Cornell Cooperative Extension) to administer the program. The largest segment of the program for older adults operates statewide through New York’s 59 AAAs, including two Indian Tribal Organizations. The smaller segment operates in four downstate jurisdictions by DOH Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The program provides income-eligible (185 per cent Federal poverty level) older adults with a one-time $20 allotment, as coupons, to use at farmers markets. Federal money is the primary funding for the program. The purpose of the program is to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, provide nutrition education, and support local farmers (a major component of New York State’s economy).

For the federal FY 12 New York State distributed $1.7 million dollars in coupons to 85,500 eligible older adult households statewide.