Free farmers’ market vouchers available for income-eligible seniors begins

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) began distributing Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) produce vouchers Monday, June 25, as part of an annual program to encourage seniors to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eligible Philadelphia seniors can receive $20 worth of vouchers (four vouchers, each valued at $5) that can be used to purchase fresh Pennsylvania-grown produce sold at certified Farmers’ Markets throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

Income-eligible Philadelphia residents who will be 60 or older by December 31 of this year, may receive the vouchers at PCA, 642 North Broad Street in Philadelphia (weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and at other designated sites. A popular distribution location where the vouchers can be spent on-site is the Reading Terminal Market, Rick Nichols Room, at 12th and Arch streets. Vouchers will be distributed there July 11 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program is a two prong program,” said Amanda De Leo, special projects coordinator at PCA. “Not only does it benefit seniors throughout the Philadelphia community, but it also benefits local Pennsylvania farmers. This program reconnects our seniors to resources that are available in their neighborhoods and helps to reshape the idea of where healthful, delicious fresh produce can be accessed.”

Proof of age and Philadelphia residency must be presented to receive vouchers. Acceptable forms of identification include Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s ID and other forms of ID that include age and residency. Seniors must sign in person (or through a proxy) and may receive the vouchers only once per year.

To receive the vouchers, 2017 household income must not exceed the following guidelines:

1 person: $22,459
2 people: $30,451
3 people: $38,443
4 people: $46,453
(Add $7,733 for each additional household member up to six people)

For questions about eligibility and more information, including other voucher distribution sites, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040.

The vouchers, made available through funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and must be used before November 30, 2018. Last year, approximately 36,000 older Philadelphians received free vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers’ markets through the SFMNP.

For a list of participating markets, go here.


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