From Harford County government:
The Harford County Department of Community Services, Office on Aging, in cooperation with the Office of the County Executive, Division of Agriculture, has created a viable option for eligible seniors to access locally grown fresh produce over the summer months. Harford County receives both state-sponsored as well as county-sponsored coupons; Harford County is one of the few counties that offer this to seniors.
The coupons are good from July 1st-October 31st (county) and through November 30th (state). These coupons are distributed to eligible seniors, age 60+, based upon their proximity to the local farmers markets.
However, due to transportation barriers, seniors have not been taking advantage of these coupons. Office on Aging staff, working with a group of local farmers, is pleased to offer produce boxes with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, at different times over the summer. Theses boxes are being provided by Lohr’s Orchards, Brad’s Produce and Harman’s Farms, and will be sold to eligible area seniors for $10.
Interested participants will be able to order the produce boxes in advance and the boxes will be delivered to senior activity centers and senior housing complexes; thereby eliminating transportation barriers.
Additionally, the University of Maryland Extension Office will provide nutrition education to the seniors based upon what they are receiving in their boxes. Staff will be onsite when the boxes are delivered to select centers to provide demonstrations and answer questions. Each box will also contain educational information as well as helpful tips for how to use what is in the box both immediately and later (freezing and canning tips, etc.).
“Our county is fortunate to have farmers who not only offer the highest quality and best variety of produce, but who give back to the community and provide a significant benefit to our local economy,” said Harford County Executive David R. Craig. “Combining resources, we are proud to offer a practical solution in order to provide our seniors nutritious and fresh produce.”
The purposes of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is to provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey from farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs to low income seniors; and to increase the consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding, developing, or aiding in the development and expansion of domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
For more information on farmer’s market coupons and produce boxes, please contact the Office on Aging at 410-638-3025.