The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 20, 2013

Agency will provide produce vouchers to eligible seniors

— Income-eligible residents ages 60 and older will have a chance to stock up a bit on locally grown produce through a voucher program offered in Cambria and Somerset counties this year.

Area Agency on Aging officials from both counties said the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will return this year, offering eligible residents $20 vouchers that can be taken to more than a dozen farmers’ markets and farm stands in their respective county.

In Cambria County, 14 markets throughout the county participate, including seven in Greater Johnstown.

For Cambria's program, applicants must be county residents, be at least 60 years old and meet federal income guidelines. A single income household can earn no more than $21,257, for example, and a two-income household can be up to $28,694, Cambria Area Agency on Aging Administrative Officer John Mavrodis said.

Checks will be disbursed in June, July and August – and must be used by Nov. 30, he added.

They will be in $5 increments – and will be distributed at the county’s Senior Activity Centers, Mavrodis said.

Those interested can contact their nearest senior center to apply for the program, he added.

A list of those centers and their addresses is available online at www.cambriacenters.com under the “locations” link.

Somerset County Area Agency on Aging staff said they are still finalizing their program and locations list and will have more information available soon.

Homebound seniors who cannot visit farmers’ markets on their own can contact the office for special arrangements to participate in the program, Mavrodis said.

The venture is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture.

Mavrodis said it’s a good partnership, allowing the group to promote local farmers and locally grown goods, while the Area Agency on Aging can showcase its centers and services it offers that older residents might not be aware of.

“It’s a good program – and a good opportunity for us,” he said.

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