Senior Farmers Market nutrition vouchers being distributed

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers are now being distributed to all 55 counties in West Virginia. Vouchers are distributed by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Vouchers can be exchanged for fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs from participating farmers markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs.

“As we have seen strains on the food supply chain from the COVID-19 outbreak, programs like the SFMNP become even more vital to a healthy food system. I am hopeful we can continue to see the same success we have seen in years past despite the current situation,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “How we beat this pandemic is through good health and nutrition, especially for our senior citizens.”

Eligible seniors over the age of 60 can sign up at their local senior centers. Vouchers are distributed to seniors who meet certain requirements. Sign-ups for the program will be conducted via drive-thru, mail, or by an in-home care worker. All partnering senior citizen centers should have vouchers by July 2, 2020.

“The Department works with a lot of great partners around the state to distribute these vouchers. If someone has a question or wants to check their eligibility, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local senior center or the department,” Leonhardt said.

In 2019, the WVDA and its partners distributed a total of 16,200 vouchers to seniors in West Virginia. A total of 300 farmers participated in the program by accepting the vouchers. West Virginia has one of the highest redemption rates in the country at 84.3 percent. The national redemption rate is 79.48 percent.

For the list of farmers markets accepting vouchers, please click: https://agriculture.wv.gov/divisions/agbusiness/Documents/2020%20Participating%20WV%20Farmers%20Markets-Stands.pdf

For list of participating senior citizen centers, please click: https://agriculture.wv.gov/divisions/agbusiness/Documents/2020%20County%20Senior%20Centers.pdf

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com