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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Department of Agriculture
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
CONTACT: Nicole L. Cullison
Women & Children
Nutrition Program Available
HARRISBURG Nearly 300,000 low-income seniors, women and children will continue to benefit from commonwealth programs that provide access to fresh nutritious food at Pennsylvania’s more than 1,000 farmers markets, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.
Pennsylvania is one of only a few states in the country that supplements federal funding with state dollars for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, said Wolff. “With this funding, we can provide healthy, locally-grown food at farmers markets and roadside stands for thousands of Pennsylvania’s most nutritionally at-risk citizens, helping everyone share in Pennsylvania’s rich bounty of fruit and vegetables.”
The program provides low-income seniors with four coupons or checks worth $5 each, which can be exchanged for fruit and vegetables grown in Pennsylvania. The funds cannot be used on processed foods like jams, honey, nuts, cider or baked goods, or on citrus or tropical fruits.
To qualify, seniors must be 60 or older by Dec. 31 and have a total household income, before taxes, of less than $19,240 for a single person and $25,900 for a couple.
A second program, the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, is available and associated with the special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as WIC. This provides free supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education to low-income pregnant and post-partum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be a nutritional risk. Eligibility for this program is determined through local WIC agencies.
More than 950 farmers are participating in the program at 182 farm markets and 794 roadside farm stands statewide. The program operates from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Residents should contact their local area Agency on Aging or WIC agency for further information, including locations, dates and times of check distributions. For a list of participating farmers markets, visit the local agency on aging or WIC agency, or visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on Consumers.