DANE COUNTY SENIORS BENEFIT FROM FARMERS MARKET PROGRAM

June 24, 2003
David W Carlson, Communications Manager, Dane County Human Services, (608) 242-6424
County Executive

Up to 720 Dane County senior citizens will be able to buy locally grown produce from local farmers’ markets this summer thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today. The grant will provide $30 in vouchers to each senior who is eligible. “What’s really wonderful about this program is that it supports both our seniors and our farmers here in Dane County,” said Falk. “It’s a great investment in good senior nutrition and in our agricultural economy.” Dane County is participating in the program for the third consecutive year. Statewide statistics indicate that 46% of seniors using the vouchers last year reported they were buying from a farmers’ market for the first time. Eighty-five percent of farmers in the program said it had increased their sales. The vouchers can be redeemed at local farmers’ markets and roadside stands displaying a yellow “Senior Farmers Market Program (SFMP)” sign through October 2003. The program is being administered locally by the Dane County Human Services Department’s Area Agency on Aging. A limited supply of vouchers remains available for eligible seniors. For more information on the program contact Mary Browning at the senior nutrition program office at (608) 224-3667. Farmers who are interested in becoming approved to accept the vouchers can contact Kathy Schmitt with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture at (608) 224-5048. ###