Colleton seniors can get fresh produce with new vouchers

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By Heather Ruppe

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is back, giving seniors fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer months.

The program officially began in most of the Palmetto State’s counties on June 1. In Colleton County, however, the program launched last week.

The goal of the SFMNP is to help supplement the diets of low-income seniors with fresh produce, while supporting the state’s local farmers, according to Danielle Jones with the S.C. Department of Social Services, the agency that oversees the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition program.

The seasonal USDA grant program allows qualifying individuals to purchase unprocessed fruits and vegetables from authorized farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community-support agriculture programs. Each eligible participant will receive $25 in the form of five $5 checks to spend at these approved sites.

In Colleton County, seniors can use the vouchers on June 20 and June 27 at the Colleton Museum and Farmer’s Market, 506 E. Washington St., Walterboro. The times are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The vouchers can be used again on June 29 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at New Covenant Fellowship Church, 2593 Clover Hill Road, Green Pond.

The produce is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To qualify for the program, recipients must be a South Carolina resident age 60 or older and with a yearly income of $23,828 or less. If there are two people in the home, the combined income must be less than $32,227 per year.

Qualified seniors will need to visit a designated location in their county of residence and complete an application and present a photo id to participate in the program.

If approved, recipients will then receive the vouchers on the same day.

For more information about the program, contact Willie Nixon at 803-898-1760.

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