June 05, 2023
Farmers Market Nutrition Programs Launched
Programs provide fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income seniors and WIC participants.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that the Missouri Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WICFMNP) have launched for the 2023 season. Both programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and assist low-income recipients in obtaining fresh Missouri Grown produce.
“The Farmers Market Nutrition Programs have proven beneficial for everyone involved,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Our farmers raise delicious, quality products and are able to assist their bottom line by participating in these programs that are also important for recipients and the local economy.”
Low-income seniors in the Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Mid-Missouri regions can apply to receive benefits which will allow them to purchase eligible foods from an authorized farmer at a Missouri farmers market or roadside stand. A total of $50 in benefits may be issued to each qualifying Missouri household. To identify the regions that contained the highest number of eligible citizens, the Missouri Department of Agriculture worked with the Missouri Department of Social Services.
Seniors are encouraged to consider using a proxy to both apply for benefits and purchase eligible foods at a farmers market. Each senior may designate one proxy on their behalf. The senior and the proxy must both sign the program application in order to receive the benefits.
Seniors may apply for benefits at the following locations:
- Springfield – SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging, (417) 862-0762
- St. Louis area
- Jefferson, St. Louis & St. Charles counties – Aging Ahead Agency, (636) 207-0847
- Franklin County & St. Louis City – Univ. of Missouri Extension, (888) 515-0016
- Kansas City – Univ. of Missouri Extension, (816) 482-5850
- Columbia – Aging Best Agency on Aging, (573) 443-5823
WIC participants in the Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Mid-Missouri regions can also apply to receive benefits totaling $20 per eligible recipient to purchase eligible foods from an authorized farmer at a Missouri farmers market or roadside stand. Thirty five WIC agencies in the four areas are assisting with the program. WIC participants can request Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits from the same agency where they receive their WIC benefits.
The Department’s Missouri Grown team has trained and authorized nearly 200 farmers to participate in the program. Authorized farmers will be identified by a sign that states the booth is proudly participating in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Benefits may be used to purchase fresh, raw, unprepared foods grown in Missouri and sold at a farmers market or roadside stand. Eligible foods include fruits, vegetables, fresh cut cooking herbs and honey (SFMNP only).
Benefits are available through Sept. 30 (or until funds are exhausted) and must be redeemed by Oct. 31. Farmers interested in learning more about eligibility and participation should email the Department of Agriculture at FarmersMarket@mda.mo.gov.
For more information about the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition and WIC Farmers Market Nutrition programs, visit the Department’s Farmers Market webpage. For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at Agriculture.Mo.Gov.