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SCHD Farmer’s Market Program starts in July for eligible seniors

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 2:48 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Health Department’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program kicks off its Senior Farmer’s Market on July 1.

During the summer months, CSFP offers qualified residents the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

The program works to improve the health of low-income elderly residents who are at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA-provided foods.

Seniors who participate in the program receive eight $5 vouchers which totals to $40 for fresh produce from approved vendors at farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture. This voucher will not affect seniors’ regular food packages.

“We utilize 15 of our farmers here in Shelby County to establish farmers markets across the county in strategic areas to ensure that our seniors have access to fresh fruits, produce, garlic, and herbs,” said Lorrie Brooks, deputy administrator for clinical services at the Shelby County Health Department.

Tennessee farmers also benefit the most from local produce sales.

According to the release from the Shelby County Health Department, $176,000 went to local farmers through the voucher program in 2020.

Seniors must meet the following CSFP eligibility requirements to participate:

  • Reside in Shelby County
  • 60 years of age or older
  • Household income at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines, based on household size
  • Proof of age, residency and income is required for enrollment.

CSFP Participants receive these services:

  • Commodity foods to meet his/her nutritional and developmental needs
  • Nutritional education
  • Referral to appropriate health care services.

The CSFP serves more than 4,000 Shelby County residents.

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