Kentucky Health News
LLow-income seniors at risk of malnutrition were unable to get free fruits and vegetables at Kentucky farmers markets this month, but the state Department of Agriculture said he would restart the program on July 1, reports Jack Brammer for the Northern Kentucky Tribune.
The Senior Farmers’ Market nutrition program normally begins on June 1 but was delayed because the bank the department uses “no longer handles paper vouchers and the department had to find a new way for payments,” Brammer reports, citing Kirk Hilbrecht, Agriculture Spokesman. Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “Hilbrecht said the delay was due to the need to switch attendee payments this year from paper vouchers to electronic cards with a QR code or app on a smartphone.”
The federally funded program covers approximately 12,500 Kentucky residents and 103 farmers’ markets across the state. To participate, a person must be over their 60th birthday and must meet the income guidelines listed on the ministry’s website at https://www.kyagr.com/consumer/senior-farmer-market.html. The site also lists produce that can be purchased at farmers markets.
Tyler Offerman, food justice officer for the Kentucky Equal Justice Center in Lexington, told Brammer that he “heard from several program participants that the changes surprised them and communicated about the delays were confusing.