Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program starts in August
ATLANTA (GA) - The Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services (DAS) has received approximately $250,000 in federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture for this year's Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). The Farmers' Market Program will run from August 11, 2008, to September 30, 2008. The program will serve approximately 11,000 low-income Georgians who are 60 years and older. Each registered participant will receive five $4 vouchers for a total of $20 to buy Georgia-grown fruits and vegetables at approved farmer's markets certified by the Georgia WIC Farmers' Market Program.
"Many older Georgians have difficulties affording fresh fruits and vegetables," said DAS Director Maria Greene. "The Senior Farmer's Market goal is to improve access and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables among our older population by providing them with vouchers to shop at participating Georgia farmer's markets."
"Colorful fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that are important to maintaining good health," said DAS Chief Nutritionist and Wellness Program Director Sudha Reddy. "Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may also protect against the effects of aging and help reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases."
SFMNP provides nutrition education information to program participants on the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables, healthy meal plans, recipes, cooking, freezing and canning demonstrations.
DAS is partnering with the Division of Public Health, Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, local health departments, and the University of Georgia Extension Service to administer the program.
Georgia produce growers wishing to participate in the SFMNP program should call their local health department or Georgia WIC program at 1-888-814-5468 .
For eligibility and program information, older adults should call their local Area Agency on Aging directly or the statewide toll-free number for Aging at 1-866-552-4464 and press 1.
Source: Georgia Department of Human Resources
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