Routes: Program offers free vegetables to seniors
gardens are marking the beginning of summer by producing fresh vegetables.
the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, those 60 years or older who meet
certain income criteria are eligible to receive farm fresh vegetables at
program is sponsored by the Alabama Farmer's Market Authority and the
Alabama Department of Senior Services, and gives eligible senior citizens
an opportunity to receive vegetables such as okra, green beans, corn and
fresh tomatoes, to name a few.
Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments and NACOLG's Department of
Aging Services, in conjunction with the area's senior centers, are
administering the local program.
year, a very few counties throughout the state were selected to
participate as a pilot program. Franklin County was the only local county
to be involved,'' said Keith Jones, executive director of NACOLG.
"The program was very successful, and a decision was made to continue
the program this year on a statewide basis.
think it's a very worthwhile program, and I was glad to see all of the
counties included this year.
hope all of our elderly citizens who are eligible will take advantage of
officials said all area farmers markets are participating, as well as
numerous roadside vegetable stands.
said people who meet the criteria are given coupons redeemable for the
fresh produce. "The coupons can be used at any of the farmers markets
in our five-county region of Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Marion or
Winston,'' Jones said.
officials stressed that the coupons cannot be used at grocery stores.
Applications are being accepted. To apply or for
more details, contact any of the area senior citizens centers or the local
department of aging services at 389-0500.