The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will host FMNP and FVC certification trainings throughout the spring. To learn more about FMNP and FVC acceptance at farmers markets in Maryland, visit MDA’s website.
The FMNP is a USDA Funded Nutrition Grant Program that is administered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Aging. The USDA gives grants to state agencies to provide checks to low-income participants. The two FMNP programs funded are the Women, Infants and Children (WIC FMNP) and Seniors (SFMNP). Checks can be used to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and cut herbs (and honey for Seniors only) at Maryland farmers markets from authorized farmers. The program runs every year from June 1st – Nov 30th.
If you are a farmer who wishes to participate in the FMNP program, the following would apply:
If you took this FMNP training previously, it is current for 3 full years. If you are new to the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) or the WIC Fruit & Vegetable Check Program (FVC), or took training prior to 2014, you are required to participate in a training session in order to participate in the program this market season.
All new farmers must attend a session in person. Renewing farmers may attend a session or join a conference call. Once you have completed the training it is good for 3 years.
All current participating farmers who require renewal training this year will be receiving a letter in the mail soon. However, if you are unsure of your training status you may also contact me via email.
The 2 hour training sessions are free and take place before or after the lunch hour; lunch is not provided (The only exception will be the training taking place during the Annual Farmers Market Conference on March 15th). The training sessions are not held in every county, however they are placed strategically around the state to try to ensure ease of attendance for multiple counties at a time.
If you are due for a training this year, open the 2016 FMNP Training Schedule and then click the link to choose the session you would like to attend.
Learn more about federal nutrition benefits including FMNP, FVC, and SNAP here.