Louisiana seniors and SNAP recipients have expanded opportunities for access to healthy and fresh local foods thanks to efforts by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, the USDA SNAP program, and the LSU AgCenter.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, DVM, encourages seniors age 60 and older in Louisiana to participate in the Louisiana Department of Agriculture’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP. This provides $24 per month in vouchers to qualified seniors to use at Louisiana farmers markets and roadside produce stands. Seniors will be able to contact their local Council on Aging office to register. Income limits are $23,600 for single households and $31,895 for two member households. The vouchers may be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey.
Farmers markets and roadside produce stands in Louisiana are also expanding access to SNAP recipients. The LSU AgCenter’s Farmers Market Vendor Training, available through the AgCenter’s website, includes a section on how farmers can accept SNAP benefits. Many of these produce vendors have also added EBT and debit card readers to aid in sales processing. SNAP purchasing guidelines are available through the USDA.
"Most of our regional farmers markets will be open by mid-May,” says Cecilia Stevens, Local Food Systems Coordinator for the LSU AgCenter’s northeast region. “Tensas, Madison, and East Carroll parish farmers and vendors are preparing now for the 2021 season.” Lake Providence and St. Joseph will host farmers markets on Saturday mornings, and the Tallulah/Madison market will be on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Eating a healthier diet has never been more accessible for the residents in Louisiana! Check out the resources listed or contact Cecilia Stevens at (318) 435-2908 for more information.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture