Farm Market Fresh Program Helps Low-Income Seniors Buy Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Low-income seniors in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties may sign up for the Farm Market Fresh program starting June 1, 2015. Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (AASC) administers the program in these counties.
Individuals who have participated in the program in the past must complete a new application each year. Pre-enrollment is required and is limited, so participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 276-964-4915 for more information.
Farm Market Fresh -- also known as Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) -- helps low-income seniors obtain free fresh produce. It also supports local farmers and farmers markets in Virginia.
Eligible seniors receive checks worth $40.00 (in $5.00 units) that they may spend with participating certified retail farmers market vendors. Checks will be mailed July 1, 2015. Seniors may spend the checks between July 1 and November 16, 2015 depending on availability of produce.
To qualify, seniors must be at least sixty years old and be residents of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell or Tazewell County. They may not live in the same household and may not be an immediate family member of the farmer who grows the produce. Participants must also meet the program’s income requirements.
Enrollees may use the coupons to obtain locally grown seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, including broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, greens, green beans, snap beans, green peppers, lima beans, potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, apples, blackberries, cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches, pears, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelons and fresh cut herbs.
Items not eligible for purchase with Farm Market Fresh checks include produce not grown locally, such as oranges, bananas and pineapples; processed foods, such as honey, maple syrup, cider, nuts, meat, bread and cheese; and non-food items, such as flowers and plants.
SFMNP is a joint effort by the Virginia Department for the Aging and Rehabilitative Services Virginia Division for the Aging and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
AASC is one of Virginia’s 25 Area Agencies on Aging designated by the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services to carry out the department’s mission to foster the dignity, independence and security of older Virginians by promoting partnerships with communities at the local level. AASC offers information and services for older adults residing in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties. Visit the organization’s website at www.aasc.org or call toll-free at 1-800-656-2272.
In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this program is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write U. S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (866)632-9992 (voice) or (202)260-1026 (local). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.