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Hartselle Enquirer

Fresh fruit and vegetable benefit cards available for seniors

MONTGOMERY – The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a federally funded program administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Farmers Market Authority Section. The SFMNP provides eligible seniors with a $50 benefit card to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from certified farmers at farmers markets and farm stands in the State of Alabama. 

“The SFMNP card allows senior citizens to purchase more local products. I want to encourage those who are eligible to apply and begin shopping local,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate said. “ADAI looks forward to another year of supporting Alabama’s farmers and senior citizens through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.” 

Eligibility 

To be eligible, applicants must be 60 years of age or older on the day of application, and not exceed household income limits.  

Applicants’ gross household income must not exceed $2,248 monthly for a household of one and $3,041 monthly for a household of two.  

Visit https://agi.alabama.gov/ or https://agi.alabama.gov/farmersmarket/ if there are more than two people in the household. 

Applicants must apply online at https://agi.alabama.gov/farmersmarket/. Unfortunately, applications cannot be taken over the phone or by mail. If you have a benefit card from 2023, you will need your card number to renew that card and submit your application. If eligible and your application submission is completed, a benefit card will be mailed to the address provided on the application for new recipients. Applicants must reapply every year. However, it is important to keep the benefits card in a safe place, since new benefits will be loaded on the card each year after an application is received. 

Where can I use the food benefits? 

Benefits can be redeemed at state-sanctioned farmers markets, farm stands and u-pick operations for the purchase of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, honey and cut herbs from May 1 through Nov. 27. To view a list by county of locations that accept SFMNP benefit cards, visit https://agi.alabama.gov/farmersmarket/locations/. Benefits cannot be used at grocery stores, or any location not listed on the redemption site. 

How to use the benefit card:

When purchasing Alabama grown fresh fruits or vegetables from authorized farmers, present the benefit card just like you would a debit or credit card. The farmer will scan the card, enter the purchase amount, confirm the amount and then complete the purchase. However, make sure the farmer returns your card to you. 

For more information about the SFMNP, visit https://agi.alabama.gov/ or call 334-240-7247 or 1-877-774-9519. 

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