BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors that are 60 years of age or older with a $30 benefit card that can be used to purchase eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at an authorized Alabama farmers market or registered roadside stand.
The SFMNP program in Alabama is administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Farmers Market Authority Section (FMA).
Seniors are encouraged to sign-up early in the year. The application becomes available Jan. 1 each year, and the FMA will take applications until funds run out.
To be eligible, seniors must meet age and income requirements listed below.
Participants must be 60 years or older the day of applying
The household income must be 165% or lower of the 2021-2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
For a household of one, the income must be less than $1,772 monthly.
For a household of two, the income must be less than $2,396 monthly.
More information on income levels can be found on the FMA website at http://fma.alabama.gov/SeniorNutrition.
No person is “entitled” to SFMNP vouchers; as the budget does not allow enough money to satisfy everyone who wishes to receive them and is eligible. Issuance is on a first come-first serve basis until all available funds are expended.
You cannot use your cards to buy non-produce items such as ornamental pumpkins or gourds and they cannot be used at a grocery store or any location that is not registered.
If you are interested in applying for cards, you can complete and submit an application on the FMA website at http://fma.alabama.gov/SeniorNutrition/.
If approved, you will receive your cards by mail and they must be expended by Nov.15 of the calendar year you receive them.
If you do not have internet, you can use the Greenville-Butler County Public Library computers.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, located at 101 South Conecuh Street in Greenville, can also assist with your application process. Their office hours are from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. They are closed from 12-1 p.m. Their phone number is 334-382-5111.
In addition, the Greenville Nutrition Center, located at 903 Cedar Street in Greenville, can help you sign up. Their phone number is 334-382-6005. Their office hours are from 8-11 a.m. Monday to Friday.