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Low-income Seniors: Apply Now for Farmers Market Produce Checks

The 2017 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which allows older low-income resident to apply for $40 “checks” that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers markets throughout King County, is now open!

Qualified applicants are age 60 or older (age 55 or older if American Indian/Alaska Native) with lower incomes who may live anywhere in King County. Specifically, older residents with incomes below 185 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are encouraged to apply. In real terms, that means someone who meets the age requirement must have a monthly income at or below $1,859 if he or she lives alone or $2,504 for a household of two. For larger households, the FPL formula adds $644 per month per person.

“We care about the health and quality of life of older adults,” said Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) director Catherine Lester, who oversees Age-Friendly Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray’s newest initiative aimed at creating a kinder, more inclusive city. HSD’s Aging and Disability Services division administers the farmers market nutrition program throughout King County.

“Healthy eating helps older adults live longer and stronger,” Lester said. “When people grow older, they usually eat less, so what they eat becomes even more important. Locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs are the freshest and most nutritious foods money can buy. Plus, local produce tastes great.”

Because funds are limited, a random selection process is used to select recipients. Completed applications must be postmarked on or before May 12, 2017. All applicants will receive mail notification of their status on or before July 1.

Applications in 11 languages are available online. For more information, visit the Community Living Connections website, or call 206-962-8467 (toll-free 1-844-5464).

A searchable list of local markets can be found on the Washington State Farmers Market Association website. Contact individual markets to determine if they accept Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers.