The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) recently announced that open enrollment for the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) opens Monday, April 10. The program allows older low-income residents to apply for a one-time SFMNP benefit card that can be used to purchase fresh produce at farmers markets throughout King County. Each card holds $80 in value.
“We feel so fortunate to receive money from the state and USDA for this annual program,” said Mary Mitchell, director of HSD’s Aging and Disability Services division, which administers the program. “Last year, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program funding benefit was doubled from $40 to $80 per person. We were able to provide $655,560 in farmers market voucher support to 8,165 low-income older adults, and they were able to enjoy fresh, nutritious locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as an enjoyable time at the market.”
HSD Director Tanya Kim added, “We believe in the power of access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The SFMNP is just one way we are making this possible for low-income seniors in King County. With this critical funding, we not only provide nutritious food, but we also support our local farmers and markets, which is a win-win for everyone involved.” HSD funding opportunities are listed at https://bit.ly/3T0OIvC.
Qualified SFMNP applicants are age 60 or older (age 55 or older if American Indian/Alaska Native) by June 30, and can live anywhere in King County, WA. Applicants must also have low incomes—monthly incomes at or below $2,248 if they live alone or $3,040 for a household of two (add $792 per person for larger households).
Due to limited funding, if the number of completed applications surpasses the available funds, a random selection process will be used to determine eligible recipients. SFMNP cards will be mailed to eligible applicants in early July.
The program’s online application—new last year—saves applicants time, doesn’t require a postage stamp, and multiple language options are available (sfmnp-seattleking.org). The site opens April 10. Promotional flyers are available in multiple languages. Printed application forms will be available April 10 at agingkingcounty.org/SFMNP/. Applications must be submitted (postmarked, if mailed) on or before May 19, 2022.
For information or online enrollment assistance for SFMNP, or to inquire about other food programs, and other local services for older people, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and family members, call Community Living Connections at (toll-free) 1-844-348-5464.
Low-income adults of any age can also apply for Washington State Basic Food Program (SNAP/EBT) through Washington Connection and then for Fresh Bucks, a City of Seattle healthy food program that helps Seattle residents afford fruits and vegetables.
The Washington State Farmers Market Association provides a searchable list of local markets. Contact individual markets to determine if they accept SFMNP benefit cards, SNAP/EBT and/or Fresh Bucks.
Aging and Disability Services and the Seattle Human Services Department strive to increase access to food and nutrition for all. For more information, visit Access to Healthy Food (ADS) and Food Resources (HSD).