Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) 2024 Season

Rhode Island farmers selling their fresh produce at the State-run Farmers Markets
Photos by Sarah Petrarca
Example of the SFMNP benefit card
Example of the SFMNP benefit card

 RI Grown Food for Low-Income Seniors

Fewer than one-third of senior citizens in the United States eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, which are vital to preventing and treating health problems. The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible Rhode Island seniors access to healthful RI-grown foods provided by local farmers. Seniors receive a benefit card preloaded with $50 that can be used at eligible farmers markets and farm stands in exchange for local produce, herbs, and honey. SFMNP Benefit Cards will be distributed from senior centers throughout the state beginning on May 1, 2024, and can be used from May 1 to November 30, 2024.

Affordable access to fruits and vegetables is important to a healthy lifestyle. Benefits of fruits and vegetables include:

  • Vitamins and minerals, to protect bone and eye health.
  • Fiber, to help prevent disease and maintain bowel health
  • High water content, to help keep you hydrated.

Locally grown fruits and vegetables are often fresher when sourced directly from local farmers than those sold in the traditional marketplace. Fresh food is more delicious, and locally sourced food supports our local community and the families of local farmers.

The Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is designed to:

  • Provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs.
  • Increase the consumption of Rhode Island-grown and produced agricultural commodities through farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agricultural programs.
  • Aid in the development of new and additional farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community support agricultural programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has been running the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) since 2001, with the annual Farm Bill passed by Congress providing federal funding for the program. The USDA awards SFMNP grants to States, U.S. Territories and Federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) to provide low-income seniors with eligible foods at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. The majority of grant funds must be used for benefits. State agencies may use up to 10 percent of their grants for program administrative costs.

In Rhode Island, the SFMNP is administered by Rhode Island DEM Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) and Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI). In 2023, the program provided an estimated 9,500 boxes of fresh Rhode Island food to eligible seniors.

2024 Income Eligibility Guidelines:

Number of family members Annual Income
1 $ 27,861
2 $ 37,814
3 $ 47,767

*Add $9,953 for each additional individual

  1. Are you 60+ years of age; or are you disabled and currently living in a housing facility where congregate nutrition services are provided?
  2. Is your household income less than or equal to the limits provided above?
  3. Are you a Rhode Island resident?

If you answered yes to all three questions, you are eligible for RI SFMNP benefits. SFMNP benefits are limited to one issuance per household per year.

The SFMNP is administered through a Federal/State partnership in which the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) provides cash grants to State agencies. In Rhode Island, SFMNP is administered by Rhode Island DEM's Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment.

As a prerequisite to receiving Federal funds for the SFMNP, each applying or participating State agency must submit an annual State Plan describing how the State agency intends to implement, operate and administer all aspects of the SFMNP within its jurisdiction.

Nutrition education is provided to SFMNP recipients through the University of Rhode Island. Program sign up assistance and pick up location coordination is provided by RI Office of Healthy Aging. These partnerships help encourage SFMNP recipients to improve and expand their diets by adding fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as to educate them on how to select, store and prepare the fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you have not received or cannot use a benefit card, you may be eligible for a produce box delivery. To sign up to receive a produce box, please complete the Produce Box Sign-up Form. Participants can only receive one type of benefit throughout the season. You cannot receive both a produce box and a benefit card.

The SFMNP is administrated by the Department of Environmental Management and is a separate program from the RI Department of Health and Human Services’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Seniors with SNAP/EBT benefits may also participate in the SFMNP by signing up to receive their SFMNP benefits card.

  • SFMNP benefit cards can be used to purchase food directly from participating farmstands and farmers market vendors.
  • SFMNP cards are loaded once, at the beginning of the season with an SFMNP benefit of $50 and must be spent by November 30, 2024.
  • SNAP/EBT cards can be used at grocery stores and certain farmers' markets, such as ones that accept FFRI’s Bonus Bucks.
  • SNAP/EBT cards are loaded each month with a SNAP benefit and can be “carried over” for up to nine months.



The SFMNP benefits card is preloaded with $50 that can be used at eligible farmers markets and farm stands in exchange for local produce, herbs, and honey.

The SFMNP is separate from the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) SNAP SNAP Eat Well, Be Well (EWBW) Pilot Incentive Program, which rewards the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables at participating stores for customers using SNAP benefits. DHS’s EWBW program, the first statewide incentive program of its kind across the nation, issues the benefits on a SNAP EBT card that can be used at both grocery stores and certain farmers’ markets. The new Eat Well, Be Well program will issue $.50 of SNAP for every dollar spent on fresh fruits and vegetables at participating stores up to $25 additional benefits each month. For more information about the EWBW program and the stores that are participating, you can go to the SNAP page on the DHS website at By participating in both SFMNP and EWBW, low-income seniors can maximize their access to healthy food.

Yes! We LOVE to cook! Cooking and healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or confusing.

Our easy recipes and quick videos make it a snap. For recipes and information on how to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables visit, email, or call 1-800-FOOD-URI.

Looking for more recipe videos and tips? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get new video updates!

Find out what is in season.

Farmers Market Benefit Cards

FAQs for Using the SFMNP Benefit Card

Yes. If an eligible individual cannot sign up themselves, they may select another individual as a proxy to sign up and receive the benefit card on their behalf. Homebound seniors who may not be able to use a SFMNP benefit card can choose to get a produce box delivered to their home instead of receiving a card.

You can apply to participate in the SFMNP through your local senior center or other applicable nutrition program. The application process involves affirming that you meet the age, income, and state residency requirements. A more in-depth explanation of what is required for program eligibility can be found in the application. You can pick up your card the same day you fill out the application.

Listed below are the locations at which you may receive a card.

  1. Bring your card to a participating producer. You’ll know if a producer accepts SFMNP benefits because they will display an “SFMNP accepted here” sign at either the farmers' market or their farm stand.
  2. Select eligible foods from a participating producer and present your card.
  3. The producer will scan the QR code on the card with their phone or other mobile device.
  4. You will review the price on the producer's device to accept the purchase.
  5. The producer will confirm your purchase, and you will receive your fresh, local produce or honey.

No, all you’ll need is the physical card! The farmer will know what to do with it. It works like a credit card or gift card.

In the spring and summer, you’ll be able to find an up to date list of markets in Rhode Island that accept SFMNP benefits here.

Any participating producer will be able to check your SFMNP balance before a transaction is processed.

Lost or stolen cards can be replaced. Please email an SFMNP program coordinator at, or call this customer service line (866) 237-4814 for more information. If you lose your card at the farmers market, the market manager there may be able to help.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at

For those who participate in the SNAP/EBT program that have lost or damaged their EBT card, you can request a replacement by going online to or by calling RI EBT Card Customer Service Line (ebtEDGE) at 1-888-979-9939. As a third option, you can also fill out the following replacement EBT form and submit it to DHS. More resources are available on the DHS website.

Homebound Deliveries

In an effort to ensure this program remains equitable to all, including seniors who may have difficulty in leaving their homes, we have partnered up with Farm Fresh RI and DoorDash to deliver one $50 produce box worth of locally grown eligible goods per SFMNP season to your front door.

To sign up for a produce box delivery to your home, fill out the online form ( or talk to your local senior center director to help sign you up using this online form. You may not receive both a homebound box delivery and a benefit card in 2024. While signing up, you must confirm that you meet the eligibility guidelines.

Resources for Locations

Resources for Farmers

The RIDEM, RIDOH, and Farm Fresh Rhode Island have teamed up to offer trainings for farmers to accept WIC and SFMNP benefits! Training sessions will be offered from March to April. If you are interested in attending one of our trainings, please email

Fill out the interest form link, and we will reach out to you with an application and instructions on how to complete it. If you participated in the WIC FMNP program last year, the application process will be abbreviated.

SFMNP benefits are distributed to seniors whereas the WIC FMNP benefits are distributed to WIC participants. SFMNP benefits are a fixed amount per household whereas the WIC FMNP benefits are based on the number of eligible persons in a household. SFMNP benefits are administered through the DEM and WIC FMNP benefits are administered by RIDOH, but both are ultimately USDA-FNS programs.

No, the SFMNP season starts slightly earlier and runs slightly longer - from the start of May through the end of November.

Wi-fi is not required, but some sort of network connection is. Most find that the data plan for their regular POS device is the most convenient, but hotspots will be provided at approved markets this season for any SFMNP or WIC FMNP vendors to use.

Not necessarily, any device with a web browser, a camera, and a capability to connect to either a mobile network or a wi-fi network will be able to process SFMNP transactions.

You are not required to download anything. The vendor portal operates through your web browser.

Vendors will be paid through direct deposit to their bank accounts once a week for all of the past week’s transactions.

Yes, multiple employees can login on different devices with accounts linked to the same vendor number.

Yes, there is support for sales and sales tracking at multiple locations on the same day.

Yes, there will be a field for manual card entry in the vendor portal.

No, there is no specific increment that the benefits need to be spent in.

No. Even if a couple days or weeks go by between markets and SFMNP sales, your browser should remember your login info.

Have them ask the market manager for some help, or if they’re unavailable, the participant could call the CDP line indicated on the back of their benefit card at (866) 237-4814 or if it isn’t urgent, email a program coordinator at