As you are probably aware, eating fresh fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet has many health benefits. They provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of the body (such as potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C) and are likely to reduce your risk of some chronic diseases. Another added bonus is that fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, so they can help keep your weight in check.
Here in Pennsylvania the best produce is available during the peak season, which runs from June through late August. Eating seasonally is a good way to ensure that you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet. The Department of Agriculture offers a program that could help seniors of Beaver County ensure that they are able to have fruits and vegetables in their diet.
The Beaver County Office on Aging will once again be distributing Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers during the 2017 season. The purpose of FMNP is to provide resources to seniors who are nutritionally at risk in the form of fresh, nutritious and unprepared fruits and vegetables from farmers markets and to expand awareness and use of farmers markets.
Adults ages 60 and older during the program year—who live in Beaver County, and who meet the income requirements that include wages, interest, Social Security, pension, etc.—are eligible for FMNP. Income eligibility is based on total household income (one person, $22,311 and two person, $30,044). The program does not include seniors who live in nursing or residential facilities where meals are provided. Each eligible senior may receive four $5 checks for a total benefit of $20 FMNP one time during the program year that runs June 1 to November 30. Take advantage of this wonderful program if you can and enjoy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables all summer long.
Mark your calendars! Checks will be distributed at locations throughout the county in June and July. If you are not physically able to get to a distribution site, you can designate a proxy to pick up and redeem your checks. An individual can be a proxy for up to four eligible older adults. Proxy forms must be completed correctly, signed by the eligible recipient as well as the proxy, and presented at the time of distribution. Proxy forms are available at senior centers, on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website at agriculture.state.pa.us.
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
2017 Distribution Schedule
Saturday June 3, 10 a.m. to noon
Beaver County Office on Aging
Human Service Bldg., First Floor conference room
1020 Eighth Avenue, Beaver Falls
Monday June 5, 1 to 3 p.m.
Baden American Legion Post # 641
271 State St., Baden
Wednesday June 7, 1 to 3 p.m.
Rochester Salvation Army
378 Jefferson St., Rochester
Thursday June 15, 1 to 3 p.m.
St. Titus R.C. Church, Titan Hall
952 Franklin Ave., Aliquippa
Monday June 19, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Midland Health and Wellness Center (next to Rite Aid)
901 Midland Ave., Midland
Monday June 19, 1 to 3 p.m.
Hanover Volunteer Fire Dept., Rt.18 Station
2697 St. Rt. 18, Hanover Twp., Hookstown
Tuesday June 20, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Bridgewater Presbyterian Church
408 Bridge St., Bridgewater
Tuesday June 20, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Chippewa Farmer’s Market
Chippewa United Methodist Church parking lot
Shenango and Darlington Rds., Beaver Falls (Chippewa)
Saturday June 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Beaver Farmers Market
Court House Parking lot, Beaver
Monday June 26, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Beaver Falls Farmers Market
The Brodhead Apartments parking lot
712 12th St., Beaver Falls
Tuesday June 27, 1 to 3 p.m.
Trinity School for Ministry
311 11th St. (back entrance; diagonal from Fire Dept.), Ambridge
Wednesday June 28, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Aliquippa Farmer’s Market
United Methodist Church parking lot
Brodhead/Chapel Rd., Aliquippa
Tuesday July 11, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
New Brighton Farmer’s Market
Parking lot at Fifth Ave. and 12th St., New Brighton
Thursday July 13, 4 to 7 p.m.
Ambridge Farmer’s Market
Eighth St. to Park Rd., Ambridge