Friday, April 29 , 2016, 10:57 pm | Fair 54º

Farmers Market Coupon Books Available for Low-Income Seniors

By Joyce Ellen Lippman for the Area Agency on Aging |

The Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce the availability of a $20 coupon booklet for low-income senior citizens for the purchase of fruits and vegetables at certified Farmers Markets in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

"The Area Agency on Aging has established eight sites for the distribution of the free senior Farmers Market coupons thanks to the cooperation of our local certified markets," said Amy Mallett, chairwoman of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council. "Seniors interested in applying for the senior Farmers Market coupons should attend the distribution site nearest them. A schedule of the distribution sites is below."

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a 100 percent federally funded program that provides low-income seniors with check booklets that can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables at Certified Farmers’ Markets. The program is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services Agency, and in California, by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In 2012, CDFA is providing seniors with almost $890,000 in check booklets to redeem at WIC authorized CFMs.

"CDFA partners with California’s Area Agencies on Aging to distribute the SFMNP check booklets, which include 10 checks redeemable for $2 each," Mallett said. “The AAAs serve this purpose well because they administer several senior programs on a local level.

"At the check distribution sites, seniors that meet the age and low income eligibility requirements receive one $20 check booklet a year and nutrition education information. Fruits and vegetables are an important component of a healthy diet. I hope seniors will avail themselves of these coupons and enhance their diet with fruits and vegetables with these free coupons."

The distribution sites include:

» Wednesday, July 16 — Atascadero Certified Farmers Market
3 to 6 p.m., Albertsons parking lot

» Saturday, July 12 — Downtown Santa Barbara City Farmers Market    
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., corner of Santa Barbara and Cota streets

» Monday, July 21 — Baywood/Los Osos Certified Farmers Market
1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Santa Maria Street between 2nd and 3rd, Baywood

» Friday, July 25 — Lompoc Certified Farmers Market        
2 to 6 p.m.  Oceano and I streets

» Tuesday, Aug. 5 — Paso Robles Certified Farmers Market      
3 p.m. – 6 p.m., 11th and Spring streets, Paso Robles

» Sunday, Aug. 10 — Goleta, Camino Real Farmers Market      
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 7004 MarketPlace Drive

» Wednesday, Aug. 13 – Solvang Certified Farmers Market
2:30 to 6:30 p.m., First Street between Mission and Copenhagen  

» Wednesday, Aug. 20 — Santa Maria Certified Farmers Market     
Noon to 4 p.m., Broadway and Main in Mervyns shopping parking lot

For more information, please call AAA Executive Director Joyce Ellen Lippman at 805.925.9554, 805.965.3288, 805.541.0384 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is executive director of the Area Agency on Aging.

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