Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program in Ohio
The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) in Ohio is open to qualifying residents 60 years of age and older. Residents who complete the SFMNP application process and meet the eligibility standards will be given coupons to help purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from participating sellers. The program strives to help low-income senior citizens gain access to more nutritious foods while stimulating the local economy and helping local growers. If you are ready to learn how to apply for SFMNP benefits, then keep reading the following information to learn more about the application process and coupons.
Who is eligible for SFMNP in Ohio?
The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program in Ohio is overseen by the Department of Aging. The SFMNP in OH aims to provide senior citizens with access to healthy fruits, vegetables, herbs and some other products that are grown in the state. The program exists in 45 counties. Participants receive coupons to use at local farmers’ markets and roadside stands. To meet the SFMNP eligibility standards, state residents will need to meet the following requirements:
- At least 60 years of age or older
- Reside in an SFMNP service area
- Meet income requirements
If a resident meets the Ohio SFMNP eligibility standards, then he or she may use coupons to purchase a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Applicants eligible for SFMNP will receive coupons worth $50 to spend during the growing season in Ohio. If a recipient is unable to redeem his or her SFMNP benefits, then he or she may allow another person to do so for him or her.
If you complete the SFMNP application process, you may only purchase items from a participating stands or farmers’ market. However, not all of the products sold at these locations will be coupon-eligible. Benefit recipients may not use SFMNP benefits to purchase the following items from a participating location:
- Dried fruits, vegetables and herbs
- Potted or canned fruits, vegetables and herbs
- Nuts of any kind
- Wild rice
- Ciders, syrups and molasses
As mentioned above, those eligible for S.F.M.N.P. may not purchase items from a wholesale distributor or a retailer that sells food items grown by someone else, such as a grocery store.
For detailed information on items available for purchase under SFMNP and other food assistance programs in Ohio, download our free and comprehensive guide.
The Ohio SFMNP Application Process
The SFMNP application process in Ohio is fairly simple. If you do not know how to apply for SFMNP benefits, then you can start by visiting the website of a participating county and downloading a paper application. The application must be completed each year if you wish to remain eligible, and each person in your household must complete and return a separate application to receive benefits. The S.F.M.N.P. application process will require you to provide personal information such as your name, age and date of birth as well as relevant information about your personal finances and income level. If you believe you may be eligible for SFMNP, then you must sign and date your application and send it to the Area Office on Aging.
You may allow another person to complete the SFMNP application process for you if you are unable to do so yourself. This will not impact your SFMNP eligibility, but the person who completes the application for you must provide a signature as well. If you do not complete the application or provide accurate information, then it may take longer to receive your benefits. The application also contains questions about race and ethnicity, which will be collected solely for statistical purposes.
Any questions about how to apply for SFMNP benefits should be directed to the SFMNP hotline. If you believe you are eligible for SFMNP, then you should apply as soon as possible. Applications are received and processed on a first-come, first-serve basis and individuals who submit their applications the quickest will receive coupons first. Coupons are distributed whenever the most produce is available, so you may not receive yours immediately. If you are approved during the SFMNP application process, then you will need to keep your coupons in a safe place, as the state will not replace any lost or stolen coupons.
Find out more about applying for food assistance successfully in our detailed guide.
Other Benefits of the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) in Ohio
If you are eligible for SFMNP in Ohio, then you may be able to receive nutrition education in your county of residence. The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program in Ohio often partners with other organizations to provide this education in the form of classes. These educational services will explain the importance of proper nutrition to benefit recipients, and recipients are often shown how to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into their everyday diets. Beneficiaries will also learn how to properly and safely store, prepare and select the fruits and vegetables they purchase with SFMNP coupons.
If you are eligible for SFMNP benefits in OH and you also receive food stamps (EBT), then you may be able to participate in the Produce Perks program. EBT recipients who are also enrolled in the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) in Ohio may be able to double their purchasing power at locations that sell fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. For each EBT dollar spent, the program will provide the spender with one dollar in “produce perks.” If you meet the SFMNP eligibility standards and receive SNAP benefits, then the state may refer you to the Produce Perks program.