Maine Senior FarmShare Program Information for Seniors

The Maine Senior FarmShare Program is administered through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Please see below for more details on this program.  

→HOW AND WHEN SENIORS SIGN UP:

The Senior FarmShare sign-up process for 2017 has begun! You will find the link to open the 2017 Participating Senior FarmShare farmers list at the bottom of this page.  Seniors sign up directly with a participating farmer each year in early spring for the upcoming season. The specific startup of the Maine Senior FarmShare program varies from year to year contingent on many factors.  Seniors can also contact the Area Agency on Aging for assistance in locating participating farmers by calling 1-877-353-3771. Seniors contact farmers directly to make arrangements to complete a Senior FarmShare contract. Each farm handles this process differently. Seniors must contact a farmer each year to enroll in the program. Seniors are not officially signed up until they complete and sign a contract with a farmer for the season. Please be aware that the number of seniors who qualify for FarmShare significantly outnumbers the number of shares available for distribution. Seniors can request the farmer to put them on a waiting list if the farmer has filled all of their allotted FarmShare slots for the season. Seniors may choose a different farmer each year, but can only sign up with one farmer per year.

 Maine Senior FarmShare Eligibility Guidelines

  1. Must be a Maine resident

  2. Must be age 60 or over

  3. Must have a gross annual household income (including all pensions, social security and other payments) of no more than 185% of the poverty level (see below).

2017 Income Eligibility Guidelines

SFMNP income eligibility guidelines are effective from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

The underlined number below refers to the household size (# of people residing in household). The household gross annual income must be below the dollar amount after each outlined number of household size to be income eligible. Income of all members in the household must be counted towards meeting income eligibility guidelines.

1-

$21,978

2-

$29,637

3-

$37,296

4-

$44,955

5-

$52,614

6-

$60,273

These guidelines are printed on the Senior FarmShare contracts in section 6, senior signature/certification.

→BENEFITS OF FARMSHARE: 

A FarmShare is $50 worth of fresh, unprocessed Maine-grown vegetables, fruits, and herbs during the FarmShare season. Certain foods are not eligible for purchase with FarmShare benefits; these include dried fruits or vegetables, potted fruit or vegetable plants, potted or dried herbs, wild rice, nuts of any kind (even raw), maple syrup, cider, and molasses are not allowed. The season is determined by the farmer and it varies at each farm. The FarmShare Program is based on a contract between the senior and the farmer. The variety of produce and supply method varies depending on the farm the senior selects.  Many participating farmers allow the senior to pick up their produce at specific farmers’ markets, or at their farm or farm stand. Some participating farmers deliver the produce to the senior at their homes or housing sites.

→SENIOR RESPONSIBILITIES:

It is the senior's responsibility to contact a local farmer to sign up. Seniors must agree to use their entire FarmShare by the date the farmer sets. Seniors should only sign up for a FarmShare if they are certain they will be able to use the entire $50 amount. Seniors must notify the farmer if they will not use the entire $50 FarmShare for any reason. Once a senior has signed a contract with a farmer they are obligated to fulfill their share for the season with that farmer unless extenuating circumstances occur. Seniors cannot change farmers during the season but they can certainly sign up at a different farm the following year.

*Things seniors should carefully consider before signing up with a farmer:

Does the farm grow fruits and vegetables that the senior prefers?

Does the senior choose what they will receive or does the farmer choose?

Are seniors required to pick up produce or does the farmer deliver?

If produce must be picked up, does the senior have transportation to get to the pick-up location?

→AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCE from the farmer:

Different farms participating in the FarmShare program offer different types of fruits and vegetables. Seniors should check with the farmer before signing up to be sure the farm's crop offerings will meet the senior’s preferences. The fruits and vegetables will be available at different times during the growing season.

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO LOW-INCOME SENIORS:

Seniors that qualify for Senior FarmShare may also qualify for other benefits. Contact the Area Agency on Aging by calling the ELDERS-1 toll free number at 1-877-353-3771 regarding other benefit opportunities, or do a self-assessment test online: http://www.benefitscheckup.org

These benefits may include:

  • Maine Rx Plus
  • Low Cost Drug Program
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Food Supplement Program
  • Medicare Savings Program
  • MaineCare
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

OTHER MAINE RESOURCES:

Prescription Drug Assistance: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aging/home_care/low-cost-drug.html

DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aging/

Cooperative Extension Food and Health Publications: http://extensionpubs.umext.maine.edu/ePOS/form=cat.html&cat=8&store=413


Download Additional Information

2017 Participating Senior FarmShare farmers

This list contains all participating farmers throughout the State of Maine. This document is bookmarked and sorted by county, then city.