Low-income Kansas seniors may be eligible for a program that provides checks to purchase fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables and honey at farmers markets in selected counties throughout the state, including Parsons.
The Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (KSFMNP) is providing low-income seniors who meet age and income requirements with $35 in checks to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from authorized farmers at local participating farmers markets July 1 through Nov. 1. Checks are available in $5 increments.
To be eligible to receive KSFMNP checks, the following criteria must be met:
— Age: A senior must be 60 years old or older on the day the money is issued.
— Income level: A senior’s annual gross household income (before taxes are withheld) must be at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. For example, a household of one must have an annual gross income at or below $23,606, or a monthly gross income at or below $1,968.
Applications for the Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will be available beginning July 1 at the Parsons Farmers Market at the northeast corner of Forest Park, Heacock and Broadway (one block south of Main Street). Seniors may apply when the market is open on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. or Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m.
Funds are limited and benefits will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, please call the Parsons Farmers Market manager, Gretchen Sassenrath, at (620) 820-6131.
Eligible foods to purchase with the KSFMNP checks from authorized farmers at participating farmers markets are defined as “fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, locally produced honey and herbs for human consumption that are produced in Kansas under normal growing conditions.”
The Senior Farmers Market Program is a project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The program is coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), which is collaborating with local partners to identify and distribute checks to eligible seniors.
The program is currently available in the following counties: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barton, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Chase, Cherokee, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Douglas, Doniphan, Ellsworth, Finney, Franklin, Geary, Harvey, Jewell, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Lincoln, Linn, Leavenworth, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Mitchell, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Stafford, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington and Wyandotte.