The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a seasonal USDA grant program that provides participants with access to fresh, nutritious, unprocessed fruits and vegetables from local farmers’ markets and is designed to increase awareness and use of community markets.
South Carolina’s SFMNP began in 2001 as a six-county pilot project. SFMNP has since evolved, currently providing benefits to seniors in 46 counties. The program provides qualifying individuals with checks/vouchers that may be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at local authorized farmers’ markets. Seniors must apply for benefits each year.
SC DSS is the State Agency that administers the program in South Carolina.
Eligibility & Benefit:
Benefits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program you must be:
- Age: a person must be 60 years of age or older on the date of application; AND
- Residence: a person who resides in one of the 46 participating counties (see Distribution List below); AND
- Income Level: applicants may self-declare their total household income (before taxes). Total household income cannot exceed 185% of the federal poverty income limits. Household is defined as a group of related or non-related individuals living together as one economic unit.
ATTENTION! For the 2023 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, eligible seniors will receive five (5) $10.00 checks totaling $50.00 to purchase fresh produce from participating farmers/farmers’ markets. The 2023 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program begins June 1. APPLICATIONS will be completed IN-PERSON ONLY at approved, local senior-serving organizations. There is NO ONLINE APPLICATION process the 2023 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
Steps to Receive Benefits:
Step 1: Potential recipients must reside in the State of South Carolina and attend a distribution event in their county of residence.
Step 2: Complete the application IN-PERSON at an approved location.
Eligibility determination can consist of application approved, application referred to waiting list, or application denial. Proof of identity (valid S.C. Driver’s License or State Issued Identification Card) must be shown in order to apply for benefit. Applicants must self-declare annual gross income and household size, whether applying jointly or individually.
2023 SFMNP Approved Locations and Distribution Dates
Step 3: Once application is approved, receive SFMNP checks at same location.
Proof of identity (valid Driver’s License or State Issued Identification Card) must be shown in order to pick up SFMNP checks.
Authorized Representatives: Applicants may designate an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply on his/her behalf if the senior is unable to apply in-person. An AR may apply and pick up SFMNP checks on behalf of a maximum of two (2) individuals in addition to themselves. An AR must present their own photo ID, copy of the applicant’s I.D. (physical copy or image), and written/signed permission.
Step 4: Purchase fresh fruits & vegetables from authorized farmers.
A listing of authorized farmers will be provided at pickup. Eligible participants will receive 5 SFMNP checks worth $10.00 each; for a total benefit of $50.00 that can be used at participating farmers’ market to purchase fresh, locally grown produce.
2023 Authorized and Participating Farmers' Markets for SFMNP
To use the S.C. Farmers and Roadside Market App, visit http://gis.dhec.sc.gov/farmersMarkets/.
Willie Nixon, SFMNP Program Coordinator (803) 898–1760, between 8:30am-5:00pm.
*Please do not call the DSS Connect Call Center or the Office of Civil Rights for information about the SFMNP Program.
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