OMAHA, Nebraska, Posted March 2, 2005 (DTN): Agriculture Secretary
Mike Johanns announced the fiscal year 2005 Senior Farmers'
Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) grant awards to 47
state agencies and tribal organizations to provide low-income
seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for fresh
produce at farmers' markets, roadside stands and community-supported
"These grants will provide low-income seniors
the opportunity to enrich their diets with highly nutritious
fresh fruits and vegetables," said Johanns. "Local
farmers benefit from the program as well by attracting
more customers to their markets for farm fresh products."
The 2002 Farm Bill authorizes and provides $15 million
annually to operate the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition
Program for fiscal years 2003 through 2007. All 47 grantees
that operated this program in FY 2004 will continue
to operate the program during the 2005 season.
The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides
fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs to
low-income seniors, as well as increases the consumption
of agricultural commodities. Through this increased
consumption, the SFMNP will help expand or develop farmers'
markets and other agricultural commodity outlets.
These grants are expected to serve over 800,000 low-income
senior citizens nationwide, an increase from FY 2004.
Coupons to purchase fresh produce this year will be
accepted by over 13,000 farmers at nearly 4,000 markets,
roadside stands or community-supported agriculture programs.