Kathy Jackson, a Delaware Department of Agriculture Marketing Specialist, has been setting up shop at downstate senior centers and farmers’ markets to encourage low-income Sussex Country senior citizens to participate in a new program that will help them purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs or honey.
Here’s how it works: senior citizens do not have to provide proof of income, but they are asked if they meet income criteria – $22,459 for a single person or $30,451 for two people. If they do, Jackson gives them a booklet of four $5 coupons.
The coupons can be used by seniors age 60 and older to make purchases at participating farmers’ markets through Oct. 31; these coupons can be used by a designated shopper if the senior is unable to visit the market. The coupons are distributed through senior centers; they are not available by mail.
The program, funded through the state Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allows 2,100 seniors facing food insecurity to select nutritious foods, increases the production of agricultural commodities, supports local family farmers, and aids in the expansion of local farmers markets.
The participating farmers’ markets include:
• Historic Lewes Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays
• Historic Lewes Farmers Market at Crooked Hammock Brewery, 8 – 11 a.m. Wednesdays
• Nassau Valley Vineyard Farmers’ Market, noon – 3 p.m. Sundays
• Riverwalk Farmers Market, Milford, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturdays
• Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays
The Food Bank of Delaware also offers programs for senior citizens who deal with food insecurity. Click here for more information.