Food assistance program provides low-income seniors with coupons for farmers' markets

Chart showing the percent of farmers' markets that report accepting SFMNP coupons by county for 2013

USDA’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors—people age 60 and older with household incomes at or below 185 percent of the Federal poverty level—with coupons to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. In fiscal 2013, 835,795 low-income seniors received $20 to $50 in coupons. Of the 8,158 farmers’ markets in the United States in 2013, 2,330 reported accepting SFMNP, according to USDA’s National Farmers' Market Directory. In 396 of the more than 3,000 U.S. counties, over half of farmers’ markets reported accepting SFMNP coupons, and in another 295 counties, 26 to 50 percent of farmers’ markets reported accepting SFMNP. Areas in the Northeast, Southwest, and along the West Coast have a relatively high percent of farmers’ markets that accept SFMNP coupons. This chart appears in “Food Assistance Program Connects Low-Income Seniors with Fresh Farm Produce” in the August 2014 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.

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