November 26, 2020

Farmers’ Market program provides local seniors with fresh produce

Pictured above are Senior Farmers’ Market staff and volunteers at the recent senior produce distribution event at First Baptist Church in Franklin (L-R): First Baptist member Reatha Burson, farmer Addis Bugg, Three Rivers Wellness Director Maureen, Wendy Anderson with McIntosh Trail Mgmt., Three Rivers Program Director Mona Browning, Christy Thornhill with McIntosh Trail Mgmt., Three Rivers Deputy Director of Aging Emily Rogers, and First Baptist Pastor Andrew Owensby

(Franklin, GA) — Thanks to a collaborative effort by several local agencies, some local Heard County seniors were recently provided with a heaping portion of fresh produce.

Agencies joining together to make the event a success included the Three Rivers Regional Commission, McIntosh Trail Management Services, Franklin First Baptist Church, Glenloch Baptist Church, and the Franklin Housing Authority.

A total of 84 Heard County seniors were provided with an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables such as collard greens, sweet potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, apples, cucumbers, and onions.

Funding for the special program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program generally awards grants to States, U.S. Territories and Federally recognized Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) to provide low income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

The majority of grant funds must be used for benefits. State agencies may use up to 10 percent of their grants for program administrative costs.

A variety of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey may be purchased with SFMNP benefits.

State agencies consider “locally grown” to mean produce grown only within State borders but may also include areas in neighboring States adjacent to its borders.

The produce for the Heard County event was supplied and delivered to Heard County by Addis Bugg, a West Georgia Farmer based in Harris County. Each senior received $20 worth of fruits and veggies.

Maureen, the nutrition and wellness coordinator for Three Rivers, spoke about the importance of this program for Heard County seniors.

“This was such a collaborative effort which is amazing. We have some of our seniors that are on the waiting list for services so we were able to give them these vegetables for the interim. Our purpose is to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to seniors who may otherwise not be able to get them,” said Maureen at the event.

The seniors were also provided with some educational materials regarding health, wellness, and best food practices.

Those who would like more information about all senior services provided through the Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging may call 1-866-854-5652.

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