MDAR Grant Aims to Increase Seniors’ Access to Fresh, Locally Grown Fruit, Vegetables

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced that Massachusetts has been awarded $1,410,222 to expand the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). The award was granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The $1.4 million grant award will allow MDAR to increase the level of benefit for seniors participating in the SFMNP from $25 to $50. The increase in funding will also allow MDAR to serve an additional 2,300 seniors and disabled individuals over the next two years.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a seasonal, annual program providing low-income seniors with coupons to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut herbs, and honey from Massachusetts farmers. Every year, coupons are spent at more than 300 farmers’ markets and farmstands across the state.

“MDAR appreciates the support and partnership with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and remains committed to ensuring that our most vulnerable populations, including elders, have access to local, fresh food,” MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux said. “At a time when food-insecurity rates remain high, the added benefit will provide elders with high-quality, nutritious food while supporting our Massachusetts farmers and food producers.”