Farmers Market Fresh for Seniors Program 2021

District Three Governmental Cooperative

is pleased to once again offer this program to our area senior citizens.

Beginning March 2021 you can apply for this program

by requesting, completing and returning your application to:

District Three Governmental Cooperative

4453 Lee Highway

Marion, VA 24354

This is a program sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture, Virginia Division of the Aging and Rehabilitative Services, District Three Governmental Cooperative and local governments. Eligible participants are given nine- $5.00 coupons (totaling $45.00) to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown by local certified farmers. This also helps support local farmers and farmers markets. Lost or stolen coupons will not be replaced. Please look for a "CERTIFIED VENDOR" poster displayed at farmers markets and stands and be sure to check with the vendor to determine if your coupons can be used there.

The benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds are infinite. As plant food consumption goes up, the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer goes down.

Strawberries are actually members of the rose family. They are the only fruits to have their seeds on the outside and one strawberry can have as many as 200. Use a favorite recipe to turn these treats into a frozen smoothie, shake, or add to your favorite salad.

No state or local taxes are charged on purchases made with these coupons. The coupons must be signed on the front by the participant they have been issued to. Coupons must be used in increments of $5.00 and no change will be given back to the participant. While you may use one (1) or two (2) or more coupons during a single market visit, the way to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your coupon is to stay as close to spending in $5.00 increments as possible during a single market or vendor visit.

To Be Eligible

You must be 60 years of age or older on the date you apply.
You must be a resident of the cities of Bristol, or Galax, the counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington, or Wythe, or a resident of the towns of Abingdon, Marion, or Wytheville, VA.
You must meet the program income requirements by certifying a monthly income of no more than $1,595 for a single person household or no more than $2,155 for a two person household. Additional family size must be no more than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. At this time those residing in nursing facilities do not qualify; however those residing in assisted living facilities may apply.
You cannot live in the same household, or be an immediate family member, of the farmer who grows the produce.
You must submit a completed 2021 application. You must apply each year. Coupons are mailed to the address on the application. The coupons will be mailed out in June 2021.

What Can't I Purchase?

Any produce that is not locally grown by the certified farmer and such items as oranges, bananas, etc.
Any processed foods such as honey, maple syrup, cider, nuts, etc.

Ways To Increase Fruits And Vegetables In Your Diet

Keep a bowl of fresh fruit handy.
Try apple slices with peanut butter.
Add fruit as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Add chopped or mashed fruit or berries to muffins, cake, cookies, and pies.
Cut raw vegetables (such as carrots, celery, and zucchini) into sticks and store them in the refrigerator.
Dip your vegetables in a low-fat salad dressing.
Make soup out of leftover vegetables.
Add vegetables to casseroles, stews, rich dishes, or spaghetti sauces.
Wrap vegetables in tortillas.

To Apply

Pick up an application form from any local Senior Center or any District Three Senior Services office. You can request an application by calling 276.783.2598 and leaving your name, number, and mailing address or you may clickFY20 Farmers Market Appto print an application.