Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) 2023 Season

Person handing a tray of fruits and vegetables to another person

Help 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 up to two free food boxes during the growing season filled with seasonal, local produce valued at $25. Produce within the boxes is provided by local farmers and delivered by Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) to pick-up locations across Rhode Island. Each location and participant are able to have up to two separate deliveries for the year.

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.

What's in the SFMNP box?

Each SFMNP box weighs no more than 8 lbs each and contains 5-7 fresh produce items with a total value of $25. The seasonal produce included in the box is sourced by local RI farmers and boxed and transported by Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) to pick-up sites across Rhode Island. Each box also contains nutrition, recipe, and storage information provided by the URI SNAP-Ed Nutrition Program. View the list of produce likely to be included.

box filled with leafy greens, carrots, onion, and other locally grown produce

Participant Sign-up Instructions

Eligible Rhode Islanders can sign up by visiting one of the locations listed below. Sign-ups occur start in March and continue into the fall. When signing up, each participant will be asked to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the program and will be notified of a date to return to that location to receive a free food box filled with 5-7 items of fresh, local, produce valued at $25. If an eligible participant cannot sign up or pick up their box, they may select an individual to act as a "proxy" on their behalf. Each participant can have up to two separate SFMNP boxes for the entire year. Produce within the boxes will be provided by local farmers and delivered by Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) to these locations.

For additional senior locations to be considered for receiving a produce box delivery in the 2023 bulk purchase program, please fill out this form:

Note - List subject to change. Additional sites may be added up until December 2023.

Frequently Asked 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 DEM Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment administers the SFMNP in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) and Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI). In 2022, the program provided an estimated 12,800 boxes of fresh Rhode Island food to eligible seniors.

2023 Income Eligibility Guidelines:

Number of family members Annual Income
1 $ 26,973
2 $ 36,482
3 $ 45,991
4 $ 55,500
5 $ 65,009
6 $ 74,514
7 $ 84,027
8 $93,536
*Add $9,509 for each additional member
  1. Are you 60+ years of age or do you receive SSDI?
  2. Do you earn less than the income stated above?
  3. Are you a Rhode Island resident?
  4. Have you received less than two produce box this year?

If you answered “yes” to questions #1-4, you are considered eligible to receive a Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) produce box for the 2023 season. Each eligible RI residents may only receive a maximum of two produce boxes each year.

Each participant may obtain two SFMNP boxes for the year. Each pick up location may receive up to two separate bulk box deliveries for the year.

Yes. If an eligible individual is not able to sign up for the produce box themselves, they may select another individual as a “proxy” to sign up and receive the produce box on the eligible individual’s behalf.

In general, SFMNP boxes include a variety of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs. See below for an idea of what foods may be included in a specific month's box.

Yes. If an eligible individual is not able to sign up or pick up the produce box from a location themselves, they may select another individual as a “proxy” to sign up and receive the produce box on the eligible individual’s behalf.

Pick up sites are located across Rhode Island.

In 2022, the SFMNP shifted from a coupon model to a produce box delivery model. This change was seen as necessary due to the unavailability of the bank to continue processing senior coupons and the amount of funds that have been increasingly returned to USDA at the end of each year. In 2021, over $130,000 of coupons went unused by the SFMNP eligible population in RI during a time which the fight against food insecurity has become increasingly important.

The bulk purchase produce box distribution program allows the SFMNP to extend the time from which eligible participants can receive benefits under the SFMNP and also helps expand the reach of the program. The produce box deliveries are distributed by Farm Fresh Rhode Island from April through December 31 to all locations that received senior coupons in past years as well as additional low-income senior apartments and eligible home-bound seniors. The amount of produce boxes delivered is determined by the number of eligible individuals that have signed up for the program, similar to how the senior coupons were distributed.

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. Rhode Island's SFMNP issues produce boxes to eligible SFMNP participants that contain unprepared vegetables, fruits, and herbs sourced from local farmers that have been authorized by the State agency.  The Federal SFMNP benefit level, whether for a household or individual, must be at least $25 and cannot be more than $50 per year. State agencies may also supplement the Federal benefit level with State, local, or private funds.

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. Farm Fresh RI sources, packs, and delivers the food boxes to more than 90 different senior sites across the state. 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.

Yes. New organizations that have not previously participated in this program that are interested in partnering with Rhode Island’s SFMNP by serving as a sign up and pick up location for SFMNP participants may submit a request via our online form here:

Returning organizations may submit a request via email to or contact one of the listed Nutrition Programs below.

Blackstone Health, Inc., Congregate Nutrition Program

Address: 420 Main St. Pawtucket, RI 02860
Contact: Timothy Sandy, Meal Site Coordinator, or (401) 725-6444

East Bay Community Action Program, Congregate Nutrition Program

Address: 100 Bullocks Point Ave. Riverside, RI 02915
Contact: Kim Wetherald, Director, Office of Volunteer Services, or (401) 435-7876 | Karen Emmes, or (401) 433-0885

Exeter Department of Social Services

Address: 675 Ten Rod Road Exeter, RI 02822
Contact: Jessica DeMartino, Director of Social Services,

Meals on Wheels of RI, Inc., Nutrition Program and Congregate Nutrition Program

Address: 70 Bath St. Providence, RI 02908
Contact: Alissa Martino, or (401) 351-6700 ext. 111

Westbay Community Action, Inc., Congregate Nutrition Program

Address: 487 Jefferson Blvd. Warwick, RI 02886
Contacts: Gilbert Williams-Hackney, Senior Nutrition Volunteer Service Program Coordinator, or 401-732-4660 ext. 354 | Minerva Thomas, Senior Nutrition Coordinator, or 401-732-4660 ext 325

Narragansett Indian Tribe, Social Services Department

Address: 4477 South County Trail Charlestown, RI 02813
Contact: Dawn Weeden, or (401) 213-6880 ext. #140

Locations that are interested in signing up and providing produce boxes to eligible RI seniors will email Ally Jennings ( from Farm Fresh RI to set up a delivery date in advance of signing up eligible seniors. These locations will be assigned a delivery date on a first-come/first-serve basis through December 31, 2023, or until all SFMNP funds have been used, whichever comes first.

The locations which have been assigned a delivery date can begin to sign up eligible participants utilizing the “Income Eligibility Guidelines” form. On the first day of the month prior the location’s delivery date, each location must report the final number of signed up participants to Farm Fresh RI ( so they can gather and pack RI grown produce for the location’s produce boxes. For example, if a location’s delivery date is set for October 15th, the location will be able to collect eligibility forms until September 1st at which time the location will email the Farm Fresh RI

Rhode Island farmers who are interested in providing produce for the SFMNP Bulk Purchase Program can complete the Farm Survey Form SFMNP Bulk Produce Boxes - Farm Survey to initiate involvement in the program.

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!

Affordable access to fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Benefits of fruits and vegetables include:

  • Vitamins and minerals to protect bone and eye health.
  • Fiber to help prevent disease and keep you going to the bathroom regularly.
  • 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.



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