20 coupons left to be issued

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times Denise Sanders (left, foreground), Buffalo Site Manager for the Union County Council on Aging, and Pat Justus (left, background), Union Site Manager for the Union County Council on Aging, sign up two people for free $25 coupons which can be used to purchase fresh produce from local farmers’ markets. The Council on Aging held a distribution event for the coupons this Wednesday, looking to distribute 80 coupons left over from the June 11 distribution in which 320 coupons were distributed. Twenty coupons were left over after Wednesday’s distribution event and the Council on Aging plans to distribute them on an individual basis by appointment.

UNION COUNTY — Even after two distribution events the Union County Council on Aging still has 20 free coupons left to distribute to eligible seniors.

On Thursday, June 11, the Union County Council on Aging partnered with the SC Department of Social Services to issue free coupons to low-income individuals age 60 and older. The coupons, which are each worth $25, may be used by recipients to purchase fresh produce at local participating farmers’ markets from June through Oct. 15.

During the June 11 event, which was held at Union Senior Citizens Center, coupons were distributed to 320 seniors or their designated representatives.

This left 80 coupons to be issued and so a second distribution event was held Wednesday morning at the Union Senior Citizens Center.

Council on Aging Director Early Black said that Wednesday’s distribution event went well, but that when it was over there were still 20 coupons that had not been issued.

“We didn’t have the turnout we hoped for,” Black said Thursday afternoon. “We did get most of the coupons distributed, but we have about 20 left.”

Black said that plans are for the remaining coupons to be distributed on an individual basis at the Union Senior Citizens Center.

“We will distribute them through the Gadberry Street center by appointment,” Black said. “Anyone who wants one of the coupons should call the Gadberry Street center and make an appointment and bring the required information.”

Black added that the individual distributions are open only to those who have not already been issued a coupon.

Applications for the coupons must be submitted in person. Proof of identity and residence in Union County is required in order to receive the free coupons. Applicants must also meet household income eligibility limits. Information regarding the income of all household members is required to determine eligibility.

The household income eligibility limits are based on the number of persons residing in a household. The income eligibility limits per household are:

• One person — $21,590 (per year), $1,800 (per month), and $416 (per week)

• Two persons — $29,101 (per year), $2,426 (per month), and $560 (per week)

• Three persons — $36,612 (per year), $3,051 (per month), and $705 (per week)

• Four persons — $44,123 (per year), $3,677 (per month), and $849 (per week)

• Five persons — $51,634 (per year), $4,303 (per month), and $993 (per week)

• Six persons — $59,145 (per year), $4,929 (per month), and $1,138 (per week)

• Seven persons — $66,656 (per year), $5,555 (per month), and $1,282 (per week)

• Eight persons — $74,167 (per year), $6,181 (per month), and $1,427 (per week)

For each additional member add $7,511 (per year), $626 (per month), and $145 (per week)

Individuals who want 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.

The coupons have been made available to the Council on Aging for distribution through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The goal of the program are to supplement the diets of low-income seniors with fresh, nutritious produce while also supporting South Carolina’s small farmers.

For more information and/or to make an appointment to apply for a coupon contact the Union County Council on Aging at 864-429-1682.