Farm market coupons, cooling options available to local seniors
Older adults with limited income can receive $45 in coupons to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and cut herbs from participating farmers at the Staunton, Verona, and Waynesboro Farmer’s Markets this summer.
The coupons area available through the Farm Market Fresh for Seniors Program jointly sponsored by Valley Program for Aging Services, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
In addition to supporting senior nutrition, the program also supports local farmers and farmers’ markets in the Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro region.
The program is supported by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service.
To qualify for the program, individuals must be 60 years of age or older, live in Staunton, Augusta County, or Waynesboro, have a monthly income of no more than $1,595 (single) or $2,155 (couple). Individuals cannot be an immediate family member or live with a participating farm market vendor. Only one coupon book per eligible senior or two coupon books per eligible couple per Market Season will be permitted.
Farm Market Fresh for Seniors Program coupons are available on a limited, first come, first served basis. The program starts June1 and ends in November.
To protect participants during COVID-19 restrictions, VPAS will not host coupon distribution days as in previous years. Individuals wanting to apply for coupons should call VPAS at 540-949-7141. Applications may be completed by mail or email, and coupons will be mailed to eligible individuals.
VPAS is also accepting applications for the Senior Cool Care Program, sponsored by Dominion Energy. The same age and income guidelines as mentioned above apply to this program. Eligible individuals who need help cooling their homes will receive a single-room air conditioner.
A limited number of air conditioners are available. Fans are also available if the individual prefers to receive a fan.Contact VPAS at 540-949-7141 for more information about this program.
“Many older adults in our community are more vulnerable now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Janice Gentry, VPAS Regional Director. “Providing them with fresh produce and cooling options will help keep them healthier and safer in the months to come.”