Kent County seniors benefit from voucher pilot program, hope it continues

July 22, 2016

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

There’s nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up humdrum meals, and also for taste and nutritional benefits.

For seniors living at the poverty level, these items are often too expensive to purchase regularly.

Thanks to a pilot program through the Palmer Home Foundation, Kent County seniors enrolled in the Food Bank’s Farm-to-Senior Agreement received a $15 voucher each month to use in the produce section of Redner’s Market.

The 52 participants were already enrolled in the monthly meal box program for low-income seniors, and the voucher was included with their monthly box from February through June.

Those who took advantage of the vouchers, though, were grateful to have some extra purchasing power.

William H. Walker, 72, of Dover, reports he loved going to Redner’s to use the voucher because he was able to select items that would otherwise be out of his price range.

“I try to stay on a vegetarian diet, so I got raspberries, spinach, apples, kale, broccoli cuts, and peas. I told them if they renewed this program, I would do it every month,” he said.

On his doctor’s advice, he said the vegetarian eating plan helps him manage health issues.

While Ann Marie Taylor, 76, is not a vegetarian, she too praised the program.

The Dover resident said the vouchers enable her to buy salad ingredients and vegetables “I wouldn’t normally have. I buy romaine, potatoes, red onions, asparagus, and lemons. It’s marvelous, just marvelous,” she said.

Seniors who also attended a series of classes connected to their monthly box pick-up also received additional food.

“It’s a very nice program you’re running there, I absolutely rank it the best program to suit my needs,” said Mr. Walker.

For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware programs, visit www.fbd.org. Families in need of emergency food assistance should dial 2-1-1 for the Delaware Helpline.

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