Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Overview
The New York State Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) consists of two programs: the Women, Infants, and Children Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP), and the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
The purpose of the FMNP program is to promote improved nutrition through increased consumption of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables and to increase education of how to purchase, store, and prepare fresh produce. New Yorkers who are eligible for these programs are provided checks to redeem for fresh, local fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets and farm stands.
FMNP Benefits For Seniors
If you are a senior (aged 60 years or older) who lives in New York State, and are low-income, you may be eligible to receive Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) checks.
Seniors who are eligible for this program receive a booklet with SFMNP checks that can only be used to purchase local, fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruits at participating farmers' markets and farm stands. Seniors must contact their local county Office for the Aging for more information about where to receive SFMNP checks. The program starts July 1 and checks are distributed on a first come, first served basis.
If you reside in the New York City Metro Area, contact the Department for the Aging or your local senior center by calling General Assistance at 311. You can also contact the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
Learn more about the federal guidelines for SFMNP, and find a market in your area where benefits are accepted.
FMNP Benefits for WIC Participants
Pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to the age of five, who are enrolled in the New York State Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), are eligible to receive WIC FMNP checks. These checks can only be used at participating farmers' markets and farm stands to purchase local, fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruit.
WIC participants receive their WIC FMNP checks at their local county WIC office.
FreshConnect Program Overview
Almost 1.5 million New Yorkers live in areas with limited supermarket access. Governor Cuomo launched the FreshConnect Program in 2011 to create new farmers’ markets and support existing markets that provide outlets for fresh food in high need neighborhoods. FreshConnect helps expand access to fresh food in underserved communities, improve the diets of individuals in those communities, and foster economic development.
The FreshConnect Checks Program was designed to increase the purchasing power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) consumers by 40 percent while supporting local farmers, farmers’ markets, farm stands, and mobile markets.
The FreshConnect Checks Program has also been available to veterans, service members, and their immediate families since 2014, and can be used to purchase fresh foods at participating farmers' markets and farm stands.
FreshConnect Benefits for SNAP Participants
If you are a recipient of SNAP benefits and wish to use those benefits at a farmers’ market, find a participating market.
You may also visit SNAP-to-Market for more information about SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets. While at a participating farmers’ market, you may be eligible to receive FreshConnect Checks in addition to your SNAP benefit. For every $5 in SNAP benefits a customer exchanges for wooden tokens, the manager may issue a $2 FreshConnect Check. This check may be spent at the market on any SNAP eligible food item.
To find out more about the SNAP program, visit the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, and check out this list of resources.
FreshConnect Benefits for Veterans and Service Members
If you are a veteran, service member, or an immediate family member of a veteran or service member, please call the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services at (888) 838-7697 for more information on how to obtain FreshConnect Checks.
You may be eligible to receive FreshConnect Checks through the Division of Veterans’ Services offices on a first come, first served basis, while supplies are available. You can then shop with these FreshConnect Checks at farmers’ markets or farm stands in New York State, and redeem them for any SNAP eligible food items. Complete instructions on using FreshConnect Checks are on the front of each check.
Complete instructions on using the FreshConnect Checks are on the front of the check and part of the webinar training.