ALBANY — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets collaborates with the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Office for the Aging, and Cornell Cooperative Extension in administering the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). The purpose of the program is to promote improved nutrition through increased consumption of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also intended to expand sales at farmers’ markets and farm stands.

Each Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) check booklet is worth $20 and contains five $4 checks. Eligibility is determined by two factors: age and income. Issuance of SFMNP checks are targeted to New York State residents, 60 and older, who affirm they are low-income. The criteria for income is a gross monthly income at or below $1967/month for a one-person household; $2,658 for a two-person household, or have income levels that increase by $691/month based on the number of persons in the applicant’s household. Checks will be issued on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE basis. Each older adult in a household is eligible to receive a booklet if they meet the requirements.

Participants must complete a Statement of Eligibility to be issued checks. Checks must be picked up in person at a designated location and cannot be done through the mail. Proxies will not be accepted. A valid Power of Attorney (POA) may sign for checks but must bring proof of their being someone’s POA. Checks may be used by recipients through Nov. 30.

While checks are good throughout New York State, consumers are reminded that all farmers at Farmers’ Markets do not accept them. They can only be redeemed with a NYS participating farmer. When wishing to use a SFMNP check, look for the sign that states the booth is a participating farmer or be sure to ask if there is no sign.

In Greene County, the following are authorized locations: Black Horse Farm in Athens; Bulich Creekside Farm Stand in Leeds, Fromer Market Gardens in Tannersville and Stoneledge Farm Stand in Leeds.

The following dates/times have been announced for pick-up at the following locations:

ATHENS Rivertown Senior Apartments 10:30 a.m. July 14; Rivertown Senior Center 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 14.

CAIRO Fairground Estates 10 a.m. July 7; Acra Community Center 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 22.

CATSKILL Autumn Grove 10 a.m. July 6; Orchard Estates 10:30 a.m. July 6; Kaaterskill Manor 11:15 a.m. July 6; Robert Antonelli Senior Center 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 21.

COXSACKIE TENTATIVE ON REOPENING HALL: Bethany Village Housing 10:30 a.m. July 15; Town of Coxsackie Senior Center 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 15.

MOUNTAIN TOP Jewett Senior Center 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 16.

Due to COVID-19, checks will not be available at the department of human services’ main office. Any questions can be addressed by contacting the Department at 518-719-3555.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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