Senior citizens who qualify for vouchers to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at Hopkinsville’s Downtown Farmers Market will see an increase in their buying power this year.
They will receive $48 in vouchers, up from $30 last year, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.
It is a popular program in Christian County, said Beverly Watkins, an employee of the Housing Authority of Hopkinsville whose office distributes the vouchers.
“A lot of the elderly, they look forward to it,” Watkins told Hoptown Chronicle.
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The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program received additional grant money this year, up from $316,869 in 2020 to $500,229 this year, according to a state news release. A combination of state and federal money funds the program.
Any resident of Christian County who is at least 60 years old can qualify if they meet income requirements. For example, a single person is eligible if they earn $23,828 or less annually. Here’s a complete list of income requirements and food that can be purchased.
The vouchers are given to individuals, not to households, so a husband and wife could each receive $48 toward fresh produce.
Watkins said she expects to have the vouchers available around June 15, so seniors should wait until then to apply.
Applicants do not have to reside in housing authority properties to qualify. However, they do have to go to Watkins’ office, at 400 N. Elm St., to apply. They should provide proof of their income and that they live in Christian County, she said.
“The department’s work to bring freshly grown, nutritious food to the tables for some of [Kentucky’s] more vulnerable seniors is one of the most rewarding programs we offer,” Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said in the release.
The Downtown Farmers Market is open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays. It is located in the Founders Square pavilion at Ninth and Main streets.