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Farm Fresh Foods for Low-Income Seniors

September 28, 2020

From the Office for Social Ministry

Kupuna in need will now have more time to redeem their unused fresh food vouchers! Thanks to the government-funded Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), eligible kupuna with coupons that are set to expire on September 30 will now have until November 30 to purchase locally-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey at select farmers markets around the state.

We thank all our parish food pantries for working hard to feed the hungry, especially during this pandemic. But since many foodbanks typically distribute only non-perishable items, it is even more vitally important for kupuna to access fresh nutritious food while also supporting local farmers. Recent lockdown measures have shut down many farmers markets, preventing sheltered-in kupuna from accessing sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables. Hopefully folks will soon be able to shop at their favorite local vendor as COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen over the coming months.

SFMNP is a US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition service that offers $50 coupon booklets to qualified low-income seniors who wish to purchase fresh produce at participating local Farmer’s Markets. The goal is to ensure healthy nutrition for all participants. To apply for the program, click here.

If you have any question regarding SFMNP, please reach out to your county contacts as follows:

County

Agency

Contact Person

Phone Number

Honolulu

Hawaii Foodbank

Jared Kawatani

(808) 954-7868

Hawaii

Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council

Ed Yokoyama

(808) 961-2681 ext. 301

Kauai

Hawaii Foodbank- Kauai Branch

Michelle Panoke

(808) 482-2087

Maui

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.

Gay Sibonga

(808) 243-4342

For those who are unable to make it to the Farmers Markets for any reason (e.g. lack of transportation, high health risk, disabled or incapacitated) participants may designate a proxy to pick up produce using their assigned vouchers. MAHALO once again to all our parish volunteers who are helping fight food poverty in Hawaii! For more information on ways to assist families in need, visit our OSM website.