FMNP – Farmers Market Nutrition Program

The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is administered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA).  It is a federally funded program which provides low-income women, infants & children and seniors with checks that can be exchanged for eligible foods at authorized farmers’ markets and roadside stands.

MDA implements both portions of FMNP –  the Women, Infants, and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP) and the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).   Only 37 states operate both programs, while an additional 6 states have only the SFMNP and 2 municipalities operate only WIC FMNP.

The WIC FMNP was established to provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants, and to expand the awareness, use of and sales at farmers’ markets.  It was piloted in Maryland in the early 1990’s, and became a federal program in 1992.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program aims to provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey from farmers’ markets and roadside stands to low-income seniors, and increase the consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding, developing, or aiding in the development and expansion of domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.  It was established as a federal program in 2000.

In Maryland, MDA authorizes farmers to participate in the program, which means that participants may redeem their checks with authorized farmers at any farmers market or the authorized farmer’s on-farm stand.  The full listing of these markets can be found on Maryland’s Best (select the category “Farmers Market Nutrition Program” under the “Find Me Local” tab.

Each year, approximately $500,000 goes directly to farmers who are producing what they sell at Maryland farmers markets through the FMNP program.  There are over 145,000 WIC participants and more than 6,000 Seniors who receive these benefits to spend on fresh fruits, vegetables, and cut herbs at Maryland farmers markets.

For more information on this program, see the MDA site here: MDA FMNP Information.

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20 Responses to FMNP – Farmers Market Nutrition Program

  1. Joann Franklin says:

    How do you apply for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program? This is something that would be very beneficial for my mother.

  2. Cecilia says:

    I received FMNP vouchers from my local Wic Office for myself and children. I have found them very hard to use in the Southern Prince George’s County area, as there are not many vendors accepting them. I used the Eat Fresh Maryland Network website (https://eatfreshmd.wordpress.com/federal-nutrition-programs/fmnp/) to locate accepting locations. I found the site to list Branch Ave. in Bloom located at Iverson Mall, which is within a mile of my home. To my surprise, I was disappointed to find out that this location, although listed on the website, did not accept the vouchers as well. I have contacted the program and have spoke to Jennifer Funn who stated that they were in the process of trying to become able to accept the vouchers from those who would benefit from the program but has faced many obstacles in reaching their goal. As a mother of 5, programs such as WIC and FMNP are essential to the development of health conscientious children and helps curb family food cost. It is unfortunate that the Branch Ave. in Bloom is unable to assist the community in these matters due to voucher acceptance process. I hope that this issue is resolved before next season’s vouchers are issued in 2013.

    As I stated before I received these vouchers through my WIC office for many of the past years and have always had difficulty find local vendors to accept them. I hope that there is much more effort from the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the overseeing federal agencies to improve the availability of program to those who strongly need it.

    • Amy says:

      Thank you for this feedback Cecilia; the map is now updated to remove Branch Avenue from the listing, and we will continue to work with that market to find eligible farmers to accept the FMNP and FVC checks.

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