A $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enable low-income senior citizens in northwest Ohio to get free produce with coupons redeemable at Toledo's Farmer's Market and at roadside stands.
The federal effort to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables, called the Senior Farmer's Market Nutrition Program, is open to seniors age 60 and over. Couples must have an income of less than $21,000 and single people less than $17,000 to qualify for the coupons.
Applications can be filed at local senior centers. Farm vendors wanting to join the program should contact the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc.
Funding for the program last year ran short, leaving area farmers with $100,000 worth of coupons for which they could not get paid. Through the efforts of U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), they eventually were reimbursed.