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Coupons offer fresh produce for area seniors
farmers market coupon pic
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will be handing out coupons for free produce to low-income senior citizens at Friday's Turlock Certified Farmers Market. - photo by Journal file photo

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables isn't just important for the community's youngest residents — it's also a way for senior citizens to remain healthy and active.

The Area Agency on Aging and the Department of Agriculture are helping senior citizens afford fresh produce through free farmers' market coupons.

"The coupons are farmer subsidies that encourage senior citizens to eat more fruits and vegetables," said Jill Erickson of the county's Aging and Veterans Services. "It's genius."

The Agency on Aging will be handing out free coupon books to low-income senior citizens at the Turlock Farmers’ Market on June 28. The coupons are available through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and can only be used to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, honey or edible herbs at certified farmers’ markets. They cannot be redeemed at grocery stores.

Each booklet contains a total of $20 of coupons (10, $2 coupons). The coupons are for Stanislaus County residents 60 years of age or older, who have limited incomes (below $1,772 a month for one person or $2,392 for a couple). One set of coupons per person will be handed out each year. The coupons must be used by Nov. 30.

"Twenty dollars can really buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and it helps the farmers. It's a win-win," said Erickson about the program.

The coupons will be handed out at the Turlock Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to the first 100 eligible seniors. The farmers market is located on Broadway, Main and A streets in downtown Turlock.

The last Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupon distribution will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 30 at the Vintage Faire Mall Market, 3401 Dale Rd. in Modesto.

For more information, call 558-8698.