Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
The purpose of the Kentucky Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is to gain market access for farmers as well as improving nutrition of low income families by providing them better access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Funding for Kentucky's program comes from federal and state resources. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) serves as the lead agency for Sr FMNP. The low-income seniors are provided with $48 in checks to purchase fresh, unprocessed, locally grown fruits, honey, vegetables and herbs at State-approved farmers' markets.
Farmers Market locations & Distribution Agencies
For more information on participating Farmers Market locations and participating Distribution Agencies in your counties please see the links titled Distributing Agency Distribution Sites and Farmers Market Locations under Forms and Documents.
Eligibility for Senior Participants
- 60 + at day of issuance
- Must provide proof of age
60 Years of Age and Older Based on 185 % Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
Senior participants will self-declare their income which is less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level.
Fresh cut cooking herbs: Basil, Borage, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Epazote, Fennel, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Shiso, Sorrel, Tarragon, and Thyme.
Eligible foods means fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs for human consumption. Eligible foods may not be processed or prepared beyond their natural state except for usual harvesting and cleaning processes. Only fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut herbs may be provided under this program.
Foods not eligible:
Non-local, non-Kentucky-grown products are not eligible for purchase with FMNP coupons. Examples include citrus products such as oranges, mangoes, lemons, and limes; bananas, and pineapples. Medicinal Herbs and others such as aloe, lamb's ear, catnip, rue, white sage, lavender, echinacea, bee balm, chamomile, St Johnswort are not eligible for purchase with coupons. Meats, eggs, cheese, and home-processed goods are not allowed. Dried fruits or vegetables, such as prunes (dried plums), raisins (dried grapes), sun-dried tomatoes or dried chili peppers are not considered eligible foods. Potted fruit or vegetable plants, potted or dried herbs, wild rice, nuts of any kind (even raw), maple syrup, cider, and molasses are also not allowed.
Market Requirements for Approval for Seniors
Only authorized farmers' markets may redeem Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)checks. For a market to be an SFMNP market it must meet the following criteria:
Criteria for a Market to Accept Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Vouchers
- The market must be an organized market. To be considered "organized" the market must have an established contact person/decisionmaker and meet at a named location on specified days and times.
- The market must be registered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and approved as a Kentucky Proud? member.
- The market must have fresh Kentucky-grown produce.
- The market must be an estabished market with at least one year of experience in operation.
If a market meets the criteria above, then markets will be rated according to the following items:
- What is the poverty level in the county? (A higher poverty level will be weighted positively.)
- What is the history of the market season? (A longer season is weighted positively.)
- Is the number of participating farmers sufficient to provide an ample variety of eligible produce? (A higher number of farmers per capita is weighted positively.)
Criteria used to authorize farmers
- Be member of an approved farmers' market;
- Be a Kentucky grower
- Attend a training session each year;
- Accept checks for only for fruits and vegetables the farmers has produced in Kentucky; and
- Sign an agreement that they understand and agree to follow all the rules for participation in the FMNP program
Participating farmers in the program must: