BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Senior Center is continuing their Senior Farmers’ Market Vouchers program this year, in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA). The Senior Center will start taking applications for the vouchers on June 25.
Because of precautions set to prevent the spread of COVID-19, seniors will not be signing up inside the center like years prior. Instead, those interested in signing up will drive to the center beginning next Thursday between noon and 4 p.m., park in the designated spots in front of the building, and a staff member will meet them at their car. If the senior is sending a proxy, the proxy must bring a handwritten note from the senior listing their name, date of birth, income, and number in the household.
WVDA has yet to release specifics on the program for this year, but seniors over the age of 60 will reportedly be eligible for the vouchers and the program will be based on income. Income guidelines have not yet been made available, but according to Executive Director of the Upshur County Senior Center Sarah Campbell, it is based on federal poverty guidelines. The Senior Center is expecting approximately 500 packets of vouchers this year. These vouchers will pay for fresh fruits and vegetables listed in the pamphlet given per family and will be based on income.
Local farmers who are willing to accept the vouchers must sign up with the WVDA. The Dept. of Agriculture will then provide the list of approved farmers at local markets who will accept the vouchers.
“While this program may look different this year, it is still providing access to quality fruits and vegetables that seniors may not otherwise have. We’re looking forward to getting started,” Campbell said.
Donnie Tenney, President of Buckhannon-Upshur Farmer’s Market and the Market Master, reported there are around three or four vendors currently accepting vouchers at the local market. The Buckhannon-Upshur Farmer’s Market is held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and every Friday 4 to 8 p.m.
Contact Sarah Campbell at the Upshur County Senior Center with questions at (304) 472-0528.