May 24, 2023

State farmers market program for seniors increases benefits

Posted May 24, 2023 12:30 PM
Photo courtesy Geary Community Farmer's Market
Photo courtesy Geary Community Farmer's Market

MANHATTAN— The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has announced that the Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (KSFMNP) is increasing the value of coupons for low-income seniors from $35 to $50 this year.

The coupons are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seniors can apply at the County Agency on Aging between Thursday, June 1 and Friday, September 15, 2023, or until benefits are gone.

Eligible foods to purchase with the KSFMNP coupons from authorized farmers at participating farmers markets are defined as fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, locally produced honey and cut herbs produced in Kansas under normal growing conditions.

The coupons can only be used at vendors that accept those vouchers.

The coupons will be sent at once and available in $5 increments. Seniors are eligible if they complete an application and are 60 years or older or at least 55 years old and a member of an Indian Tribal Organization. Eligible seniors must also have an annual gross household income (before taxes are withheld) at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. 

"Each vendor in the program has a sign that will say that they accept senior nutrition vouchers," Faidley said. "The customer will have to sign the bottom of the check. It's just like a normal check. You don't have to make it out to anybody. They are government issued checks. The vendor handles the cashing process of it."

Not all the same vendors will be taking checks.

"We'll have it listed on our Facebook page," Faidley said. "I don't know how they are doing that process this year. They've completely changed it."