FMA AWARDED $1.7 MILLION FOR SENIORS PROGRAM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced Wednesday that Alabama would be among 49 state agencies and tribal organizations that will share in $21 million in final Fiscal Year 2008 grant awards for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
The Alabama Farmers Market Authority will receive the third-largest grant at $1.7 million, just behind New York and Pennsylvania at $1.9 million each. Only three other states received funding of $1 million or more.
The funds, which are part of the additional funding for SFMNP through the new farm bill, will be distributed as vouchers to more than 61,000 eligible seniors in Alabama. The vouchers can be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables by participating farmers at farmers markets, u-pick operations and roadside stands across the state.
"By providing fresh, nutritious, good-tasting fruits and vegetables to our seniors and increasing sales of our farmers, we are creating physically and economically healthy communities throughout our state," said FMA Director Don Wambles. "I am very pleased that Alabama will be able to assist more seniors with increased funding of the SFMNP and knowing that these funds will also assist our hard-working farmers in Alabama is a win-win situation for everyone."
The SFMNP is available in all 67 counties and vouchers are distributed via the Area Agencies on Aging through the Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS). For information on the distribution of vouchers call 1-800-243-5463 or 1-877-774-9519. For eligibility requirements to receive vouchers and a listing of participating vendors, visit http://www.fma.alabama.gov/Nutrition.aspx