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Seniors can get checks to buy food at farmers markets
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Low-income Kansas seniors may be eligible for a program that provides checks to purchase fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables, herbs and honey at farmers markets in selected counties throughout the state.

The Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (KSFMNP) is providing low-income seniors who meet age and income requirements with $30 in checks to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from authorized farmers at local participating farmers markets June 1 through Nov. 1. Checks are available in $5 increments.

To be eligible to receive KSFMNP checks, the following criteria must be met:

• A senior must be 60 years old or older on the day the money is issued.

• A senior’s annual gross household income (before taxes are withheld) must be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a household of one must have an annual gross income at or below $23,107 or a monthly gross income at or below $1,926.

Applications for the Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will be available starting on Monday, June 3, at the Barton County Health Department, 1330 Kansas Ave., Great Bend. Seniors may apply on-site from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. 

Applications for the Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will be available from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, June 4, at the Great Bend Senior Center, 2005 Kansas Ave., Great Bend. 

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, call Doneta or Bev at the Barton County Health Department, 620-793-1902.

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 Food and Nutrition Service. The program is coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 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, 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 and Wyandotte.