Gloucester County Senior Services distributes vouchers to local seniors

Program enables participants to buy locally grown produce

The Gloucester County Board of Commissioners and the county senior services department are offering vouchers this month to income-qualified seniors so they can purchase locally grown produce at selected area farmers’ markets.

Sponsored by the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), the voucher program is available to anyone over 60.

“Due to COVID, we actually have more vouchers to give out this year,” explained senior services department Executive Director Leona Mather.

In previous years, $1,600 worth of vouchers were distributed, but because of COVID, there will be $1,800 worth of vouchers offered this year. The vouchers are funded by local and state governments that received funds through the federal CARES Act. 

Seniors must provide proof of county residency and income such as a driver’s license or state identification coupled with a utility or phone bill. While a household of one must have a monthly income of up to at least $1,968, a household of two can have a monthly gross income of $2,658. Income guidelines are subject to change on July 1. All vouchers are $6 each.

“Supplies are limited as seniors are limited to five vouchers per person,” Mather explained. 

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) promotes nutritional health among New Jersey seniors by providing them with locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. 

“Keep in mind that it is only for locally grown produce,” Mather noted. “When they go and buy a banana or pineapples, they won’t be able to use the vouchers because we don’t grow them.” 

Participating markets and roadside stands will get checks and distribution sites will be announced throughout the county. Vouchers are redeemable at 18 farmers markets and road stands throughout Gloucester County. They include both Grasso Girls locations in Mullica Hill and West Deptford, Zimmerman’s Country Market in Sewell, DeHarts Farm Fresh Produce, and The McCann’s Farm in Elk Township. 

Vouchers can also be purchased at the Mantua Community Center on East Mercer Avenue in Sewell. 

For more information, contact the division of senior services office at (856) 384-6900 or go to its website at https://www.gloucestercountynj.gov/814/Farmers-Market-Voucher-Information-2021.