WINSTON COUNTY - Seniors age 60 or older are encouraged to apply for a benefit offered under the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Each senior will receive five $6 vouchers (a total of $30) for use at any approved farmers market or approved roadside market. The Haleyville Farmers Market is an approved market where seniors can spend their vouchers. Eligible seniors must also have a monthly gross household income that does not exceed the following limits: $1,669 for a household of one; $2,263 for a household of two; $2,857 for a household of three; $3,451 for a household of four; $4,045 for a household of five and $4,639 for a household of six. Seniors must re-apply each year for this program. For married couples, each spouse can apply.
Seniors can apply by visiting the website, http://fma.alabama.gov/seniornutrition/
Many seniors are not comfortable using the internet, but some may have family members who can help them apply. Some seniors have told me that they had family members help them apply with the use of a smartphone connected to the internet. Seniors who do not have internet access or are not comfortable using a computer may stop by the Haleyville Public Library, Double Springs Public Library or the Arley Public Library for assistance. For seniors who are not able to visit one of these libraries, they still have several options. Seniors who visit the Haleyville Meal Site may get assistance there. Seniors in other parts of the county may call the Winston County Extension Office at (205) 489-5376 and the staff can take the application over the phone.
The application only takes a few moments to complete, and just a few details such as name, address, race, date of birth, number of people living in household, monthly income, telephone number and last four digits of social security number are needed. Completing an application does not guarantee receipt of Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits due to the fact that funds are limited. Seniors are encouraged to apply before April 30.
The Walking Program will also be offered again this year. This program is different from last year. Seniors will receive a $30 gift certificate to their choice of either Goar's Super Market, Piggly Wiggly, (both located in Haleyville) or Gateway Foodland (located in Double Springs) if they walk 30 miles in 30 days during the month of April. These gift certificates are limited to the first 30 people who sign up. Unlike the Farmers Market Senior Nutrition Program, seniors only have to be 50 years or older to enter and there are no income limits. This walking program is sponsored by the Winston County Diabetes Support Coalition and the Haleyville Community Foundation. The purpose of the program is to encourage seniors to have an active lifestyle. Seniors may apply for the program by calling the Winston County Extension Office at (205) 489-5376.
These programs are a benefit to the seniors, but they also help the Haleyville Farmers Market and other markets gain new customers. Last year, over 500 seniors received the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers. In addition, fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce can help seniors have a healthier diet.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.