Donations wanted for senior nutrition effort

Initial program funded through USDA, but demand surpasses supplies

The Buckeye Hills Regional Council’s annual Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program is so popular that 169 seniors in the region are on a wait list. In efforts to assist more of those seniors, the Buckeye Hills region has launched the $ponsor a $enior program, allowing community members to assist.

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides income-eligible senior citizens with special coupons worth $50 to enjoy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey.

“The Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program is funded by the USDA but we only receive a set amount,” said Cathy Ash, program manager.

Currently in Washington County, the SFMNP assists 357 seniors in the county. They can use their $50 in coupons at area farmers markets with vendors who are signed up with the program to redeem the coupons.

“More seniors want these coupons and the sponsor a senior program is asking the community for donations to help assist more seniors,” said Gwynn Stewart, communications director.

A donation of $50 will sponsor one of the seniors in Southeast Ohio on the current waiting list for Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons.

“We want to be able to provide low-income seniors access to the local produce in the area. It helps keep their diet under control and improves their nutrition,” said Ash. “Anyone that donates money can actually say which county they’d prefer their donation to stay in. All the money will go to purchasing coupons for the seniors to use.”

The Buckeye Hills region encompasses eight counties in Southeastern Ohio including Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington. Their mission is to help local communities work cooperatively to improve the region

“We want to be able to assist all the seniors and with this sponsor a senior program, we hope to be able to do that,” said Ash.

Donations may be mailed to 1400 Pike St., Marietta, or sent through the GoFundMe site at gofundme.com/buckeyehills-sponsorasenior. To learn more, call Buckeye Hills at 1-800-331-2644 or visit buckeyehills.org/sponsor-a-senior.

How to help

¯ $ponsor a $enior program helps provide access to $50 in fresh produce coupons to seniors on the wait list.

¯ One $50 donation can help feed a low-income senior with fresh produce from farmers markets in the county.

¯ Donations may be mailed to 1400 Pike St., Marietta, or through the GoFundMe site at gofundme.com/buckeyehills-sponsorasenior.

¯ To learn more, call Buckeye Hills at 1-800-331-2644 or visit buckeyehills.org/sponsor-a-senior.

Source: Gwynn Stewart, communications

director.

COMMENTS