June 9, 2008
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has kicked off another year of the Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. The program allows low-income senior citizens to receive locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables at no cost.
Earlier this year, NDA received $246,775 in USDA grant money for the program.
"We are expecting around 5,089 low-income senior citizens to utilize the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program this year," says Greg Ibach, NDA director. "This program also benefits Nebraska's produce growers that will be providing the seniors with nutritious, Nebraska grown produce."
The SFMNP, established as a pilot program in 2000 and authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill, provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers' markets, roadside stands and U-pick operations. It is intended to provide fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs to low-income seniors and to increase the consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the development of farmers' markets and other outlets.
Coupons are available to low-income seniors during the month of June from their local senior centers. Free copies of the "Your Guide to Nebraska Fresh Produce," which identifies the locations of Nebraska's farmers' markets, roadside stands and U-pick operations, are available from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture by calling 800-422-6692, or visiting www.agr.ne.gov.
Low-income seniors interested in more information about the SFMNP coupons should contact NDA at (402) 471-4876 or 800-422-6692, or the Nebraska DHHS Medicaid and Long-Term Care - State Unit on Aging at 800-942-7830.
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