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Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides fresh produce to seniors

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) distributes fresh produce to more than 4,200 low income New Hampshire seniors each summer. The program runs from mid-July through mid-September.

SFMNP is a program of the NH Department of Health and Human Services and the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food.

Seniors who are enrolled through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) receive their produce at statewide distribution sites. Programs run by Southern New Hampshire Services in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties will receive fresh produce throughout this summer’s growing season.

This summer, the program runs from July 13 to September 11.

The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program provides seniors with a fresh, locally grown bundle of fruits and vegetables grown by 15 New Hampshire farmers. The bundle has an $18 value and includes at least four different fruits and vegetables, ranging from apples to zucchini. Seniors also receive recipe ideas and tips on how to prepare and store fresh fruits and vegetables.

CSFP is administered by the Division of Public Health Services at the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and currently reaches seniors 60 years and older in New Hampshire. Income guidelines are up to $1,276 monthly for a senior living alone and $1,726 monthly for a family of two persons.

Throughout the year, CSFP provides a monthly food benefit that includes canned meats, fruits, vegetables, cereal, juice, pasta, rice, and cheese, plus recipe ideas on how to use the foods in healthy recipes.

“Public health nutrition programs like these provide nutrition services to low-income seniors who may have a difficult time finding affordable fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. José Thier Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “By providing these foods and education to seniors, we hope to prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.”

Seniors who meet the income guidelines are encouraged to call to learn how to apply for CSFP and SFMNP services in their community. Eligible seniors living in the Greater Manchester area and throughout all of Rockingham County can call Southern New Hampshire Services at (800) 256-9880 for information; those living in the Nashua area may call (877) 211-0723.

For more information, visit the NH DHHS website at: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/wic/csfp.htm.

SFMNP and CSFP are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Nutrition Service. Community Action Program Belknap Merrimack Counties, Inc., administers SFMNP under a contract with the NH Department of Health and Human Services. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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