Kaptur Leads House Members in Push for $100M for Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs

August 20, 2021
Press Release
255 Percent Increase Would Bolster Aid for Northern Ohio Seniors, Families, Farmers

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement after calling on the Chairs of the House and Senate Budget and Agriculture Committees to allocate $100 million in additional funding for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), and the Women, Infants, and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). In a letter, Rep. Kaptur urged Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY), Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Representative David Scott (D-GA), and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to include the funding as part of the reconciliation process or as part of President Biden’s American Families Plan (AFP). Last year in Northern Ohio[1], the programs provided more than 22,500 seniors, and 7,400 women, infants, and children with coupons worth up to $50 to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers’ markets.

“Over the last 20 years, the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs have been essential in our efforts to deliver the fresh produce our families and seniors need, while supporting our local farmers who strive day in and day out to serve our communities,” said Rep. Kaptur. “By properly investing in this low-cost, high-impact lifeline, we will ensure more of our neighbors have food on the table, and are empowered to live with the comfort and dignity they deserve.”

In Fiscal Year 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture allocated $20.6 million for SFMNP, and $18.6 million for FMNP. Rep. Kaptur sponsored the legislation that created SFMNP in 2001, and has championed FMNP since its inception in 1992. The letter calls for new funding of up to $60 million for SFMNP and $40 million for FMNP. If passed, the new funding would allow the programs to serve more seniors, families, and farmers throughout Northern Ohio and across the nation.

Earlier this month, Rep. Kaptur called on the Ohio Department of Agriculture to utilize a portion of the American Rescue Plan funding it had received to increase the State of Ohio’s support for SFMNP. Rep. Kaptur was joined in that effort with letters of support from the Toledo-based Office of Aging of Northwestern Ohio, and Cleveland-based Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging – the organizations responsible for disbursing coupons to seniors in the 15 counties they serve.

Rep. Kaptur’s letter to the Budget and Agriculture Committee Chairs can be found here. More information on the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs can be found here.

[1] Lucas, Ottawa, Erie, Lorain, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Fulton, Geauga, Henry, Huron, Lake, Medina, Paulding, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood  Counties.

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For more information, contact Chris Dalton at (202) 897-7438 or Chris.Dalton@mail.house.gov.