Farmers market vouchers provide fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income seniors

POSTED: July 11, 2019

Summer is a great time to fill your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, and farmers markets are a great, low-cost way to stock up on produce. Seniors in Central Indiana may be eligible for $20 in farmers market vouchers distributed through CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions.

The Indiana Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) occurs annually from June to October at a variety of participating farmers market locations in the CICOA service area. The program was started by Indiana WIC in 2002. CICOA partners with Indiana WIC by distributing the voucher checks to income-eligible seniors and providing nutritional education.

SFMNP is valuable not only because it encourages healthy eating, but also because many older adults in the community love going to the farmers market. They look forward to it all year.

“Older adults get so excited for farmers market checks. Some folks call months in advance to make sure they don’t miss the program,” said Tiffany Cox, a registered dietician and wellness coordinator at CICOA. “I love to hear about all the recipes, canning and freezing that older adults do to enjoy the produce throughout the season.”

CICOA provides checks redeemable at state-approved farmers markets in eight counties: Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan and Shelby. Reference the SFMNP Information Sheet for more information regarding locations and hours for voucher distribution.

To be eligible to receive senior farmers markets vouchers, participants must be over 60 years of age or disabled and living in senior housing with congregate nutrition services. Participants also must meet the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines for SFMNP. For example, a household of one person must have a gross monthly income of $1,926 or less. For more information about income guidelines, reference the SFMNP Information Sheet.

When applying for the senior farmers market vouchers, participants must bring a valid driver’s license or ID. They also must bring either proof of participation in SNAP, TANF, CSFP or WIC, or a signed statement affirming their household size and gross income does not exceed 185 percent of the current poverty level.

Each voucher booklet contains four $5.00 checks. The checks are valid until Oct. 19, and participants must complete a new application every year.

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