I was browsing the Alabama online newspaper (AL.COM) the other day and saw a story where "Alabama seniors can receive $50 to buy fruits and vegetables at farmers markets." This is a program offered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries using federal funds from the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

The State of Alabama is making the program available to all people in Alabama 60 and older who meet the income eligibility standards. Each eligible person can receive a $50 benefit card to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers markets and farm stands in Alabama. They even provide a list of Farmers Markets where the nutrition program benefits can be redeemed.

In Tennessee, the program is managed by the Department of Health. The Federal Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program is only available in 5 counties, Davidson, Dyer, Shelby, Hamblen, and Warren. The Tennessee program gives eight $5 checks to those accepted into the program. It would appear you have to contact the county of your residence, if they offer the SFMNP program, to sign up.

I contacted someone at the State of Tennessee Dept. of Health about the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. They really didn't know that much. They said they didn't have enough funds to offer it in the entire state. I asked the person why Alabama was able to have enough Federal funds to offer it to all eligible residents but not Tennessee? Rhetorical question. Of course, that person wouldn't know. The person said it was how it was set up at the beginning and that they were not with the department when it was set up.

Tennessee is considering rejecting federal funding for education. They have already rejected federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Is this another program the state doesn't really want?

Alabama keeps getting better than Tennessee. We will have to discount they elected Tuberville. But, hey, voters in our state elected Marsha Blackburn, Tim Burchett, etc.

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