DOAG: CONNECTICUT SENIOR AND WIC FARMERS’ MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAMS ARE THRIVING



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Linda Piotrowicz

860-713-2503

Linda.Piotrowicz@ct.gov

CONNECTICUT SENIOR AND WIC FARMERS’ MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAMS ARE THRIVING

Hartford, CT/July 19, 2018 – The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)s administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) are in full swing at more than 100 farmers’ markets in Connecticut.

DoAg administers two separate nutrition programs at authorized Connecticut Farmers’ Markets—the Connecticut Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) FMNP and the Connecticut Senior (S) FMNP.

Both programs provide income-eligible individuals with checks to purchase fresh Connecticut Grown produce and cut herbs directly from farmers at FMNP authorized farmers’ markets from July 1 to October 31.

The nutrition programs administered by DoAg benefit eligible seniors, as well as WIC participants by providing checks to purchase fresh Connecticut Grown produce,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky. “The programs also benefit Connecticut farmers by promoting agricultural diversification and stimulating the demand for Connecticut Grown fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets.”

DoAg is also administering a SFMNP doubling program at 36 Connecticut farmers’ markets. The SFMNP doubling program is known as the Senior Produce and Honey Extra Redemption Endorsement (SPHERE) program.  Seniors visiting a market should go to the farmers’ market table to find out if they can have their check doubled.

A list of farmers’ markets that accept FMNP checks, and markets that offer the SPHERE SFMNP check doubling program is available on the DoAg website at www.ct.gov/doag.

In additional to the two FMNPs administered by DoAg, some farmers’ markets also accept federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The Connecticut Senior and WIC FMNP programs operate independently of the SNAP program. Any change to SNAP payment processing will not affect the Connecticut Senior and WIC FMNP programs.

 WIC FMNP funds are provided to eligible individuals in the form of checkbooks. Each eligible recipient receives a book of five $3 WIC FMNP checks, per market season, for a total of $15 per individual. For example, a family with three eligible individuals would receive a total of $45.

DoAg collaborates with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, 23 local WIC offices, and over 200 senior coordinating agencies for implementation of the two FMNPs.

Local WIC offices receive FMNP vouchers from DoAg and distribute the WIC FMNP checks to all eligible recipients during the months of July, August and September.

The SFMNP is similar in most respects to the WIC FMNP. Seniors who are at least 60 years of age with an annual income that does not exceed 185% of the poverty guidelines and are enrolled in other means testing programs are eligible to participate. Disabled individuals under the age of 60 are also eligible if they live in housing where congregate nutrition services are offered. Connecticut SFMNP is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Service and the State of Connecticut.

Each eligible senior receives six $3 checks, per market season, which can be redeemed at authorized Connecticut farmers’ markets.

The checks are issued to elderly housing facilities, municipal social services, and elderly service nonprofits who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DoAg.

Checks are not distributed to individuals by DoAg. To find the most current list of SFMNP check distribution sites please go to www.CTGrown.gov/FMNP.