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ALABAMA (WHNT) — Fresh fruit and vegetable benefits are increasing for eligible seniors this year, which will now be on a reusable card instead of paper vouchers.

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) administers the cards through the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Farmers Market Authority Section. Each card is now worth $50 and can be used for fresh fruits and vegetables from certified farmers at markets and stands in the state.

“The SFMNP card monetary increase from $30 to $50 will allow senior citizens to purchase more local products. I want to encourage those who are eligible to apply and begin shopping local!” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate in a statement. “ADAI looks forward to another year of supporting Alabama’s farmers and senior citizens through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.”

The card replaces paper vouchers issued in previous years. Benefits will be loaded on this same card every year so, it is very important to keep the card. Applicants have to reapply every year.

To apply for a benefits card, you must be 60 or older and meet income guidelines outlined by the state.

  • For a household of 1, gross household income cannot exceed $2,096 monthly
  • For a household of 2, gross household income cannot exceed $2,823 monthly

For homes with more than two people, visit here.

Applications cannot be taken over the phone or by mail. You can apply online here:

The program’s funding is allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seniors are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Where can I use the food benefits?

Benefits can be redeemed at State Sanctioned Farmers Markets, Farm Stands and U-Pick Operations for the purchase of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, honey and cut herbs from May through November 15, 2023.

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Benefits cannot be used at grocery stores or any location not listed on the redemption site.

Click here to see a complete list for each county:

For more information about the SFMNP, visit their website or call (334) 240-7247 or 1 (877) 774-9519.