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Area seniors to get free farmer’s market vouchers

Staff Reports

Senior citizens with fixed or low income can stretch their food budgets with $50 vouchers for fresh produce at local farmer’s markets.

Representatives from the Senior Age Area Agency on Aging will be distributing vouchers from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday June 17 at the Branson Senior Center, 201 Compton Drive, Branson, Mo.

Branson Farmer’s Market. (File)

The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program provides benefit vouchers for fruits and vegetables to low-income senior households.

“It’s very important that older folks get access to fresh fruits and vegetables that are such an important part of a good diet,” Lisa Arnold said, who starting next week will be the regional lead senior center administrator for Branson and Forsyth.

Seniors can take the vouchers to vendors at the Branson Farmer’s Market that runs from 3 to 7 p.m. in Branson every Tuesday, or to the Forsyth Farmer’s Market open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday.

Arnold said the agency plans on distributing similar vouchers at least several more times through the summer months.

The vouchers are good from today through Oct. 31 when the local farmer’s markets will end for the year.

To qualify for the vouchers, residents 60 years or older are asked to come to the Branson Senior Center and bring proof of identification (drivers license), proof of residency (such as a utility bill), and proof of gross income (SNAP letter, pay stubw-2, tax return, bank statement).

The Senior Center is now open, Arnold said. However, she added that no hot meals are currently being served because of health and safety precautions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which puts the elderly at the highest risk of infection compared to other age groups within the area’s population.

Before the pandemic, about 85 people a day came to the center to enjoy a hot meal and fellowship with friends and family.

Frozen prepared meals can be picked up curbside at the center so long as residents call ahead.

The Senior Age Area Agency on Aging continues to deliver prepared frozen meals to homes where the elderly reside as part of the Meals on Wheels programs.

Last month, more than 5,500 such meals were delivered to local Branson residents.

For more information, please contact Lisa Arnold, at 417-335-4801.

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