The following Farmers Market Voucher update is from the PA Department of Agriculture through PDA’s Legislative Office.
The PA Department of Agriculture (Dept. of AG) has unfortunate news regarding the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). The vendor selected to print the 2023 checks has informed the Dept. of AG that the previously agreed upon check delivery date of June 1, 2023, is no longer feasible. Instead, the checks are not expected to ship until June 23, 2023. Due to the printing facility being located in Utah, Dept. of AG estimates the delivery dates to be June 28, 29, and 30th.
This year, the PA Dept. of AG is transitioning the checks to a hybrid electronic solution that will allow farmers to more quickly and easily deposit their checks. However, this transition to a hybrid check with embedded QR codes has resulted in significant computer programming delays for the printer. Additionally, the Dept. of AG has been informed that the specialty paper upon which the checks are printed has not yet been received at the printer. These delays have pushed the production date for the checks back significantly. Please know that the Dept. of AG is continuing to work with the vendor to expedite this process in any way possible to get the checks into hand of Pennsylvanians in need of food assistance at the earliest possible date.
It is understood that the unexpected delay will put pressure on individuals who receive these funds, as they have budgeted anticipating the checks to arrive on June 1st. However, checks will still be available for the majority of the Farmers Market season – with check redemption running through November 30 — and the value of checks available to eligible recipients will remain the same as planned. (This year, each eligible WIC recipient will receive 3-$10 vouchers and each eligible senior will receive 5-$10 vouchers.) As new information and timelines are available, updates will be provided.
There will be no in-person distribution of coupons in 2023. Seniors may only receive vouchers once during the program, which runs from June 1, 2023, until November 30, 2023.
Application forms are available on the AAA website:
A list of participating farmer’s markets can be accessed at: www.PAFMNP.org.
Information provided to TVL by:
County of Northampton
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042