2017 Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Begins

It’s time to enjoy the great fresh produce, remember proper storage by September 29, 2017 and used fruits and vegetables locally grown and available at our area farmers’ markets. Blair Senior Services, Inc. is pleased to once again be administering the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) in Blair County for 2017. The program began on June 1 and issues vouchers for income-eligible older adults to exchange for fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets.

Including fruit and vegetables in your daily diet is important. They contain vitamins and minerals that can help keep you healthy and feeling energized. They can also help protect against some diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Be sure to buy the right produce by selecting ones that are not bruised or damaged. When buying pre-cut, bagged or packaged produce, choose only items that are refrigerated or stored by ice. After purchasing your fresh is also important for both quality and safety. Store perishable fresh fruits and vegetables in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40 degrees or below.

Prior to eating or preparing your fresh produce remember to wash it thoroughly under running water. After washing, dry the produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present on the surface.

Farmers’ Market vouchers are distributed at the Central Blair Senior Center, located at 1320 Twelfth Avenue in Altoona, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. while supplies last. Throughout June, vouchers will also be available at the Northern Blair, Southern Blair and Williamsburg Senior Centers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Each eligible individual receives four vouchers worth ve dollars each. Vouchers must be picked up by November 30, 2017. Please be aware that vouchers will be distributed until the supply is depleted and you are encouraged to pick up your vouchers at your earliest convenience.

To be eligible to receive the vouchers, you must be 60 years of age or over and a resident of Blair County. Eligibility is also determined by your total 2016 household income. Proof of age and residency, such as a driver’s license or photo ID, are required.

This summer, plan on visiting our area framers’ markets and enjoy the wide variety of nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will it be good for your diet, it will make for a great outing. For more information regarding the program’s guidelines and distribution centers, please call Blair Senior Services, Inc. at 814- 946-1235.