Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Funds Available

Low-income seniors get fresh produce from farmer's markets.

Final Fiscal Year 2009 grant awards to 50 state agencies and tribal organizations for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program were announced Tuesday. Reauthorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, the program is expected to serve over 900,000 low-income senior citizens nationwide this season.

"The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides an opportunity for low-income seniors to improve their diets and overall nutritional health by increasing their consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program also benefits local farmers because the program brings additional customers to their markets."

The program provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers' markets, roadside stands and community-supported agriculture programs. The new Farm Bill provides $20.6 million to operate the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program in 2009 along with $1.7 million that wasn't used in 2008.

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