Missouri providing free vouchers for low earnings senior-age adults to get vegetables and fruit at Farmers Markets

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Low-income seniors age 60-and-over can now get free $50 vouchers for contemporary produce at collaborating farmers markets.

The Senior Farmers Market Vitamin program, now in its fifth yr, is sponsored by means of the Missouri Division of Agriculture and within the Springfield space the vouchers can be found on the SeniorAge Space Company on Growing old at 1735 South Fort Avenue.

On Monday there was an extended line of individuals ready to get their free coupons.

“They love this program,” mentioned Susan Hughes, the SeniorAge supervisor of the native voucher initiative that serves 17 counties in southwest Missouri.

Even those that don’t take into account themselves fruit-and-veggie lovers turned out.

“I’m extra meat-and-taters,” laughed Al Crossland, an 80 year-old Springfieldian who was in line. “However as I become older I do suppose extra about consuming nutritious meals which is why I’m going to the senior heart to eat lunch and reap the benefits of this. It’s meals that I in all probability wouldn’t purchase in any other case.”

“We hear that lots,” echoed Hughes. “As a result of vegetables and fruit are very costly lots of people on a set earnings have to choose between groceries and drugs. So though it’s simply $50, it could possibly make a distinction. It’s $50 and the produce is homegrown.”

The free vouchers are being made accessible by means of the top of September and can be utilized till the top of October.

Once you enroll you’ll get a listing of the farmers markets the place the vouchers can be utilized. When you get there you will note licensed farmers who will likely be recognized by an indication that states the sales space is proudly collaborating within the Farmers Market Vitamin Program.

“The Farmers Market Vitamin Applications have confirmed useful for everybody concerned,” mentioned Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Our farmers elevate scrumptious, high quality merchandise and are in a position to help their backside line by collaborating in these packages which can be additionally essential for recipients and the native financial system.”

Once you apply for the vouchers you’ll have to convey the next:

• Proof of id and age (drivers license or delivery certificate-must be 60-or-older)

• Proof of residency (utility invoice or different invoice displaying deal with)

• Proof of earnings (Social Safety profit assertion, pay stub, w-2, banking abstract)

The above gadgets are essential to find out if you happen to qualify as you have to be not less than 60 years outdated and have a family earnings at-or- under 185 p.c of the federal poverty line. That data might be regarded up on-line.

“Simply to offer you an instance for one particular person you possibly can’t make over $26,000 a yr,” Hughes mentioned. “And that features all earnings like Social Safety and pensions.”

As to how a lot distinction this could make in somebody’s life?

“Simply at present I had a lady who got here in and her husband had just lately handed away so she’s nonetheless coping with residing on her personal,” Hughes recalled. “She had tears in her eyes when she mentioned, ‘I can’t imagine I qualify for this! That is such a giant assist to me proper now.’ That’s as a result of whenever you lose a partner there goes half your earnings and whenever you’re making an attempt to take care of regulate, typically simply that measly $50 is the largest factor that may occur to you.”

For extra data you possibly can name SeniorAge at 417-862-0762 and likewise discover out the occasions and days you possibly can enroll.

It’s additionally essential to notice that the low-income program for girls, kids and infants (WIC) also can apply to obtain advantages totaling $20 to buy eligible meals from a licensed farmer at a Missouri farmers market or roadside stand. WIC individuals can request Farmers Market Vitamin Program advantages from the identical company the place they obtain their WIC advantages.

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