Nutrition program helps local seniors

We know many senior citizens in our community live on a fixed income, which makes programs like the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program so important.

It provides eligible seniors with coupons or vouchers they can use on food available at local farmers markets. It helps the seniors, and the vendors at the markets, at the same time.

This year, vouchers are available through local senior centers May 14 and 15. Seniors can sign up for the program at the Belpre Senior Center May 14 from 9 to 11 a.m.; the O’Neill Center in Marietta May 14 from 3 to 6 p.m.; and the New Matamoras Senior Center May 15 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Anyone 60 or older, with an income of $21,590 or less for a single, or $29,101 for a two-person household, can be eligible.

Last year, more than $67,000 in vouchers went out to more than 1,500 seniors in eight southeast Ohio counties, including 409 people in Washington County. Unfortunately, not all who wanted help received it last year as there were more than 600 people on the waiting list. And unfortunately still, there is less money available for the program this year, so slightly fewer seniors will be helped.

We’re glad to see the program continue in Washington County, and we urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allocate more money for the Ohio program next year, so more seniors can be helped.