PCA Offers Farmers’ Market Produce Vouchers to Low-Income Older Philadelphians
On July 9, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) will begin distributing Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program produce vouchers as part of an annual program to encourage seniors to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eligible Philadelphia seniors can receive $20 worth of vouchers for use at certified Farmers’ Markets in Philadelphia. The program also increases awareness of sources of fresh produce in local communities.
Income-eligible Philadelphia residents, age 60 or older by December 31, 2012, may receive the vouchers at PCA, 642 North Broad Street in Philadelphia (weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and at other designated sites. Vouchers will also be distributed at the Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Sts., on July 11 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proof of age (
60+) and residency in Philadelphia must be presented to receive vouchers. Acceptable forms of identification include Pennsylvania driver’s license, Pennsylvania non-driver’s ID, or a utility bill.
To receive the produce vouchers, total household income for 2012 must
not exceed the following guidelines:
1 person: $20,665 3 people: $35,317
2 people: $27,991 4 people: $42,643
For questions about eligibility and more information, including voucher distribution sites, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040, starting July 9.
The vouchers, made available through funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and must be used before November 30, 2012. This year, the vouchers may be used only to purchase fruits and vegetables grown in Pennsylvania or in a neighboring state.
According to Helen Cooke, PCA’s assistant director for health and nutrition services, 8 to 10 (½-cup) servings of fruits and vegetables a day provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help decrease the risk of chronic disease.
In 2011, nearly 36,250 older Philadelphians took advantage of the free vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from certified farmers’ markets that grow produce in Pennsylvania.