Nutrition program returns to Washington

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


For the third year in a row, seniors interested in participating in the senior nutrition program, which was formerly offered at Washington Farmers Market, will get another chance when 100 vouchers are disbursed at the market this Thursday.

Jill Boileau, of Choices Drop-In, will be at a table at the market to offer Senior Farmers Market Nutrition applications to low-income older Iowans. She also will give vouchers to qualified people. The Iowa Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits low-income older Iowans. It provides the qualified user with coupons, which can be redeemed at participating farmers markets throughout Iowa for fresh fruits and vegetables. People who qualify can receive up to ten $3 vouchers. It is open to seniors at or above the age of 60. For a single senior, their income would have to be at or below $22,459 and $30,151 for couples.

?They can be used at the farmers market for fresh produce and honey or any sort of craft items or meat,? said Heritage Agency on Aging health and wellness services coordinator Kathleen Collier.

She said people interested in signing up should bring a proof of identification that they live in the seven-county area covered by Heritage. The agency receives a certain allotment of vouchers each year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and distribute them based on past interest.

Iowa seniors will be asked to complete a one page application verifying their eligibility, by providing their birth date and the last four digits of their Social Security number. Checks will be issued once per season on a first-come first-served basis.

People unable to attend the farmers market will be able to apply at Choices.

The farmers market begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 7, in Central Park. People with questions about how to participate in the program can contact Collier at (319) 398-5559.