UNION — A program that helps senior citizens purchase fresh produce during the summer and also help small farmers is returning to Union County.
In a statement released Thursday, the SC Department of Social Services announced that “the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) returns this summer with the goals of supplementing the diets of low-income seniors with fresh, nutritious produce and supporting South Carolina’s small farmers.”
The press release states that “the seasonal USDA grant program allows low-income, senior citizens — age 60 and older — to purchase unprocessed fruits and vegetables from authorized farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community-supported agriculture programs May through October 15.
It states that the SFMNP “began as a pilot program in six counties in May of 2001 and has expanded to 41 counties. The SFMNP is administered by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and county Agencies on Aging.”
The press release states that “participants receive $25 in the form of five checks of $5 to spend at authorized locations. Checks are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
In Union County, the vouchers will be issued between 1 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 19 at Union Senior Center, 237 North Gadberry Street, Union.
To determine whether or not they qualify for the program, the press release states seniors must take the following steps:
1. Attend a distribution event
2. Complete the application
3. Provide proof of identity and residence in the county
4. Self-declare amount of household income
5. If eligible, participants receive the $25 benefit
The press release states that “individuals wishing to apply for homebound seniors must provide a statement from the senior granting permission to submit an application on their behalf. Proof of identity and proof of income for the homebound senior must be presented at the time of application.
For more information, contact Stacey Richardson at 803-898–0973 or Seandra Kelly at 803-898–1760.
The press release states that “in accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.”
It also states that “persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.”
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected]
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.