Georgia's regional commissions (Atlanta Regional Commission for example) work with the Department of Public Health to manage the SFMNP in GA. The regional commissions recruit seniors into the SFMNP by connecting with local community organizations that they work with directly. These community organizations then sign seniors up for the FMNP vouchers in person. Sign ups usually happen at senior centers, but can be set up anywhere.The only requirement for a senior to participate is that they are 60+ years old and make less than $22,000/year. If a senior is interested in the program they need to speak with the regional commission or a known community organization that distributes the vouchers. WWG can help direct folks if you have a specific region in question.
How do seniors use their vouchers?
Once signed up, seniors receive two $10 vouchers at the same time. They are only eligible to participate in the program once a year and receive a total of $20. These vouchers can only be used on fresh fruits and vegetables. To redeem the vouchers, the regional commission usually sets up a “market” at a senior center where one or two farmers come with produce and seniors redeem their vouchers. Vouchers can be used for fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for cooking.
How can I become authorized to accept Senior and WIC FMNP vouchers?
In Georgia, farmers, not farmers markets, can become authorized to accept WIC and Senior FMNP. Interested farmers are required to go through the authorization process with the Department of Public Health. The authorization process allows farmers to accept both Senior and WIC FMNP vouchers. This is a separate authorization process than the authorization process for SNAP/EBT. The Department of Public Health hosts an annual authorization event every year in Macon. Farmers are required to go through process annually to renew their status as a Senior and WIC FMNP authorized vendor. WWG can provide additional details if you or one of your vendors is interested in attending.
How does Wholesome Wave Georgia fit in?
Farmers that are authorized by the Department of Public Health to accept Senior and WIC FMNP vouchers can double the value of these vouchers through WWG (i.e. a $20 Senior FMNP voucher turns into $40 for the individual and for the farmer).
WWG is also developing relationships with regional commissions and encouraging them to partner with our partner markets to distribute Senior FMNP vouchers at markets that have WIC and Senior FMNP authorized vendors. In 2015, we partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission, the City of East Point and the East Point Farmers Market to distribute Senior FMNP vouchers at the market. The East Point Farmers Market has multiple Senior and WIC FMNP authorized vendors. The partners provided transportation for seniors to come to the East Point Farmers Market once a month to sign up for and use their vouchers.