Fresh tomatoes … fresh asparagus … fresh corn … oh my.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are certainly a tasty part of summer as we await each piece to ripen in the fields and trees. Summer also signals that it is time for the Farmers Market Nutrition Voucher Program distributed by the Centre County Office of Aging.
This year, the Centre County Office of Aging is offering hybrid distribution of the Farmers Market vouchers. Applications are available by mail as well as in-person distribution at Centre County senior apartment buildings. The program distribution both by mail and in person are to allow everyone the ability to access the program at their comfort level in terms of the number of people in a space and ease of access. Each person will receive the vouchers one time per year.
Remaining the same as past years, participants must be 60 or over by Dec. 31, meet the income guidelines and be a resident of Centre County. Income is self-declared; no documentation is needed, but requires a signature on the federal form verifying gross income guidelines are met.
Income guidelines: one person, $25,142; two people, $33,874.
Any stimulus funds received are not counted in the guidelines. However, any unemployment is to be included when considering the guidelines and determining eligibility. Each eligible person receives four $6 checks, for a total of $24. The checks are for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables that must be grown in Pennsylvania. Checks must be spent at a participating vendor at a farmers market; they can’t be spent in a grocery store.
Distribution is from the county of residence; however, the vouchers may be spent at any farmers market that accepts the vouchers across Pennsylvania. This is a firstcome, first-serve program.
To receive the application to begin the process, call the Office of Aging at (814) 355-6716 to provide your name and mailing address if you want to participate by mail; for an up-to-date list of local locations as well as times for in-person distribution; or email the Office of Aging at [email protected] your name and mailing address listing FMV or vouchers in your email.
Once the application has been completed, mail it to: FMV c/o Centre County Office of Aging, 420 Holmes St., Room 245, Bellefonte, PA 16823. Forms can also be faxed to (814) 355-6757 or scanned and emailed to [email protected].
For those who mail, fax or scan their application, the vouchers will be mailed back to the participant after the application has been reviewed.
To find a farmers market or farm stand with eligible farmers, please download the FMNP app. The PA FMNP app is available in the Google Play store and the Apple Store for free. The information is also available online at www.pafmnp.org.
The first day to spend the vouchers was June 1 and all vouchers must be spent by Nov. 30, 2022.
We wish everyone a bountiful summer.