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Monday, May 25, 2015

Senior Citizens Encouraged to Apply to Receive Checks to Buy Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs and Honey Direct from the Emporia Farmers Market


Senior Citizens Encouraged to Apply to Receive Checks to Buy Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs and Honey Direct from the Emporia Farmers Market

Emporia, Kansas--Low-income Kansas seniors may be eligible for a program that provides checks to purchase an array of healthy foods at farmers’ markets throughout the state.

The Kansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (KSFMNP) is providing low-income seniors who meet age and income requirements with $30 in checks to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from authorized farmers at local participating farmers’ markets May 1 through Nov. 1. Checks are available in $5 increments.

This year, the Emporia Farmers Market will be providing up to $15 additional dollars, while supplies last, to seniors who qualify for the program. ECKAN will have information available about the KSFMNP program at the market on Wednesday, June 3, starting at 5pm. Seniors may also contact ECKAN directly to apply.

To be eligible to receive KSFMNP checks, seniors must meet the following criteria:

1.      Age: 60 years old or older on the day the money is issued.

2.      Income level: Individual annual gross income (before taxes are withheld) must be at or below $21,775 ($1,815/month).  Seniors need to provide their most recent proof of household income.

Applications for the Kansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program will be available for pick-up starting on June 3rd, 2105 at the ECKAN Community Center at 215 W. 6th Street, Suite 204 (Emporia Humanitarian Center). Seniors may apply on-site Wednesdays from 8am-12pm, throughout the summer until the vouchers are gone. 

Currently, there are funds to serve 100 eligible participants. Applications will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the Kansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, call ECKAN Human Services Coordinator, Julia Wilson, at 620.342.4607.

Eligible foods available to purchase with the KSFMNP checks from authorized farmers at participating farmers’ markets are defined as “fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, locally produced honey and herbs for human consumption that are produced in Kansas under normal growing conditions.”

The Kansas Senior Farmer’s Market Program is a project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program is coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), which is collaborating with local partners to identify and distribute checks to eligible seniors.

The program is currently available in the following counties: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barton, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Chase, Clay, Cloud, Cowley, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Finney, Franklin, Grant, Greenwood, Harvey, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Reno, Republic, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Stafford, Sumner, Washington and Wyandotte.