Farmers Market Vouchers Available to Eligible Seniors

By Eric Deabill |

Published 06/24 2014 05:17PM

Updated 06/24 2014 06:32PM

Tens of thousands of seniors are once again getting a helping hand this summer paying for fresh fruits and vegetables.

At a time when many seniors are struggling to make ends meet, they say the farmers market nutrition voucher program is important to them.

Seniors have to be 60 years or older by December 31st and have an annual household income that doesn't go above $21,590/individual, $29,101 for a couple, $36,612 for a three-person household in order to qualify.

Many counties across the commonwealth are already handing out vouchers, including Wayne and Lackawanna Counties which started just this week.

The Hamlin Senior Center was buzzing with activity Tuesday as people waited to get their vouchers.

"Money is tight. That's for sure but it does help and it is very nice," Barbara Lagasse of Lake Ariel said.

One-by-one, seniors picked up four, five-dollar vouchers that they can use at participating farmers markets and farm stands this summer.

"We look forward to it," Clementine Pontosky of Hollisterville said.

"I'll take $20 every year," Ed LaFeir of Lake Wallenpaupack said.

For Marie Laskowski, the vouchers help because the cost of her groceries keeps going up.

"When you go to the store, everything is up high," Laskowski of Sterling Township said.

Eleanor Weiss enjoys the produce she gets with the vouchers because she doesn't have a garden anymore.

"We don't have a garden anymore because my daughter usually does it but she's usually working," Weiss said.

Then there's Henrietta Beaulieu who turns 94 on Saturday and says the vouchers will help her get a watermelon to celebrate with.

"You've got your social security but that pays for your insurance, your medication and there's nothing left for the extra fruit and vegetables," Beaulieu said.

The voucher distribution in Wayne County will only be held one more day, on Friday at the Honesdale Senior Center beginning at 9:00 AM.

In Lackawanna County, the following distribution times/places are:

Wednesday, June 25: North Pocono Senior Center, 12 John Michaels Drive, Covington Township

Thursday, June 26: Carbondale Senior Center, 66 N. Church Street, Carbondale

Monday, June 30: West Side Senior Center, 1004 Jackson Street, Scranton

Wednesday, July 2: Downtown Senior Center, 305 Penn Avenue, Scranton

Wednesday, July 9: Dunmore Senior Center, 1414 Monroe Avenue, Dunmore

Friday, July 11: Mid Valley Senior Center, Green Wave Heritage Apts., 310 Church St., Jessup

Monday, July 14: South Side Senior Center, 425 Alder Street, Scranton

Wednesday, July 16: Jewish Community Center, 601 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton

Friday, July 18: Taylor Community Center, 700 S. Main Street, Taylor    

If you live in any other county, more information on the program is available by your local Area Agency on Aging or by visiting the PA Department of Agriculture at:

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