Senior vouchers and SNAP at the farmers market

 


Qualifying seniors will be able to take advantage of a program to purchase fresh produce at the Elochoman Slough Marina Farmers Market this summer.

The Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program offered by the Area Agency on Aging and Disability will provide an $80 voucher to help seniors access fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, and honey from participating farmers markets and farm stores.

The Elochoman Slough Marina Farmers Market is certified for the program this year, and is promising three or four vendors this summer, who will also be certified to participate.

The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market in Longview is also participating in the program. There will be the usual Saturday market near the Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a new Tuesday market on 12th and Hemlock from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wahkiakum on the Move has provided a route on Saturdays for local residents who want to attend the market in Longview, and will provide one on Tuesdays as well.

Wahkiakum Health and Human Services has 42 vouchers available through the program this year. In years past, the vouchers looked more like a checkbook, but this year, it is more akin to a debit card.

The vouchers can be used at any farmers market in Washington where special signs are posted indicating that the market and vendor have been certified by the program.

The Elochoman Slough Marina Farmers Market is every Friday this summer from 3-6 p.m. and begins on May 26.

According to Kelly Patterson at WHHS, 12 people have already signed up for the program. There is a sign up sheet available at the weekly senior lunch on Thursdays at the Hope Center, and staff plan on being at the food bank on the Westend on Thursday to promote the program. There are also plans to attend a couple senior lunches in Rosburg and Patterson will have a table set up at the Elochoman Slough Marina Farmers Market on May 26.

For more information or to find out if you qualify, call Patterson at 360-795-8630 Option 4 to apply for the program.

Another market program benefits SNAP users, according to Heather Odom at WHHS. They will be able to use their EBT card at certified markets, which are listed on the SNAP website.

While this program is not available at the local farmers market, there are more than 100 participating markets across the state, where SNAP users can double their money to purchase fresh vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, herbs, and seed and plants that produce food.

For instance, if a participant uses $25 of SNAP money towards any of these items, they will be matched another $25, all in tokens, which can be used at any time during the season.

“It’s a really beneficial program,” Odom said.

The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays is the closest participating market. Look for the SNAP Market Match logo at the farmers market.

Both of these programs are only available at Washington markets.

 

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