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Farmers’ market vouchers to be given for seniors

Seniors in Winchester and Clark County will soon be able to get vouchers for the Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market beginning June 22.

The program is federally funded with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture serving as the lead agency.

It provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods — including fruits, vegetables and honey grown by local farmers — at farmers markets.

According to market president Molly Stotts, the program has been very well received by seniors in the community in past years.

“I know we were one of the top counties in the state (in participation) last year,” Stotts said. “The seniors here love locally-grown food, and they know how to cook it.”

The program is available to anyone over the age of 60 on the day of their application and on a limited income, according to a release from the Clark County Extension Office.

Applications will be accepted at the James B Allen Generations Center, 32 Meadow Lane, June 22 on a first-come, first-served basis, as there is a limited supply of vouchers. Applications will also be accepted at Beverly White Towers, 4 North Maple St., June 27.

Finally, applications will also be accepted July 1 at the farmers market on Depot Street from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

In all cases, those applying must provide proof of income and age.

Stotts said that seniors are free to use their vouchers as soon as they get them, but they must be used only on the specified items locally grown by farmers.

In addition to the voucher, Stotts said the market has also applied for a grant through the Community Farm Alliance to offer double dollars, so that seniors can get added value for their vouchers. She said that the market is still unsure of when the funding will be available, and unlike last year not every dollar from the vouchers will be doubled, but it will give some additional value to the program.

She added that vouchers for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will be available June 27 for those who qualify.