Kentucky Department of Agriculture Seniors Nutrition Program Gets Increased Funding and More Flexibility

This year, a program designed to improve nutrition for low-income seniors in Kentucky is seeing changes to create more opportunities for food-insecure people and its start has been delayed a month to accommodate a new program. of voucher cards that eliminates paper vouchers.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) Senior Citizens Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) has received a grant increase and is updating its reimbursement system to provide greater flexibility for participants.

Grant funding has increased to $529,483 this year, an increase of $29,254 from last year’s budget of $500,229. SFMNP attendees will now use a program voucher card or phone app with $48 allocated to each qualifying person for use during the 2022 Farmers Market season. The $48 can be used to make qualifying purchases until October 31.

(Photo by KDA)

“The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is one of the most rewarding programs we offer,” said Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles. “Advocating for our vulnerable elders to have access to nutritious, freshly grown food is the backbone of this program. These new changes will make this process easier, more efficient and allow other Kentucky County markets to participate in this program.

Last year the senior nutrition program was available in June. This year, it begins in July with maps and applications distributed to marketers and distribution agencies in June.

The financial institution that allocates SFMNP domestic funds requires participants to use the new e-voucher cards or smartphone app, as paper vouchers are no longer processed. These changes provide seniors with a more flexible and enjoyable shopping experience with faster transaction times for farmers and senior attendees.

The program provides voucher cards to eligible seniors to purchase fresh, unprocessed, locally grown fruits, vegetables, cut cooking herbs and honey at state-licensed farmers’ markets. In addition to helping seniors improve their access to nutrition, the program helps participating farmers gain market access across the state. This year, 103 certified farmers’ markets are participating in the program.

Funding for Kentucky’s SFMNP comes from federal and state resources. KDA serves as the main agency for distributing the cards to the elderly. Cards are issued on a first-come basis and can be used until October. To be eligible for this program, participants must be aged 60 plus a day on the date of issue, be able to provide proof of address and meet the income criteria. To learn more about the program and eligibility or for a list of distribution agencies, visit the Senior Farmers’ Market page on the KDA website or contact KDA staff Jesse Frye at 502-382-7458 or Tina Garland at 502-382-7505.

KDA also administers additional nutritional supplementation programs for eligible seniors. For more information, visit www.kyagr.com or call 502-782-9231.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

See Jack Brammer’s NKyTribune article on the program.

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