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Farmers Market Coupon Booklets Available for Low-Income Seniors

Area Agency on Aging sets up four distribution sites in Santa Barbara County

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 seven sites for the distribution of the free Senior Farmers Market coupons thanks to the cooperation of our local certified markets,” said Karen O’Neil, president of the Board of Directors.

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 and vegetables at Certified Farmers’ Markets.

The program is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food & Nutrition Service 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,” O’Neil 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,” O’Neil said. “I hope seniors will avail themselves of these coupons and enhance their diet with fruits and vegetables with these free coupons.

The distribution sites in Santa Barbara County include:

» Saturday, Aug. 18, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market, corner of Santa Barbara and Cota streets

» Thursday, Aug. 23, 3 to 6 p.m., Goleta, Camino Real Farmers Market, 7004 MarketPlace Drive

» Friday, Aug. 24, 2 to 6 p.m., Lompoc Certified Farmers Market, Cypress and H streets

» Wednesday, Sept. 19, noon to 4 p.m., Santa Maria Certified Farmers Market, Broadway and Main in Mervyns Shopping parking lot

For more information, call Executive Director Joyce Ellen Lippman at 805.925.9554 or 805.965.3288.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is executive director of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

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