HSD opens farmers market voucher applications for low-income seniors

Today, the Seattle Human Services Department announced the opening of its application process for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, an innovative initiative that provides low-income seniors with $40 vouchers that can be exchanged for fresh produce at participating farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs throughout King County.

“Access to quality and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables is critical to achieving and maintaining healthy lifestyles for older adults,” said Catherine Lester, Director, Seattle Human Services Department.   “I am proud that through this program, the City and its partners have helped more than 5,000 older adults take advantage of fresh, nutritious, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and other farmers market products each year.”

King County residents, age 60 or older (age 55 or older if American Indian/Alaska Native) with incomes at or below 185 percent of Federal Poverty Level are eligible to apply.  To qualify, an older adult living alone must earn a monthly income at or below $1,815.   A household of two must earn less than $2,456 per month.  A chart containing the 2015 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines by family size can be found here.

Completed applications must be postmarked on or before May 15, 2015. Due to limited funding, qualified applicants will be selected through a random process.  All applicants will receive mail notification of the status of their application on or before July 1, 2015.

Applications are available online or by calling any of the organizations listed below:

  • African American Elders Program: 206-328-6840
  • Asian Counseling & Referral Service: 206-695-7510
  • Chinese Information & Service Center: 206-624-5633 ext 4178
  • Latino Information & Assistance: 206-764-4700
  • Neighborhood House: 206-571-5080
  • Russian Information & Assistance (Irina at JFS): 206-861-8787
  • Seattle Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens: 206-684-0500
  • Senior Information & Assistance (206-448-3110 or 1-888-4ELDERS)

A searchable list of local markets that may accept the vouchers can be found on the Washington State Farmers Market Association website.

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The Seattle Human Services Department is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net as it provides $99 million in funding through 522 contracts to nearly 200 agencies that support Seattle’s most vulnerable residents each year.  The department works closely with its community partners, including other public and nonprofit funders and service providers, to understand current and emerging human service needs, and to create and invest in a comprehensive and integrated regional human services system.

Aging and Disability Services—a Division of the Seattle Human Services Department—is designated by the State of Washington as the Area Agency on Aging for King County. The agency plans, coordinates, and advocates for a comprehensive service delivery system for older adults, family caregivers, and people with disabilities in King County.