Farmers Market Nutrition Program opens June 1

Blair Senior Services will be administering the Senior Citizen Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) in Blair County for 2006.
The program issues checks for income-eligible older adults to exchange for fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets. The 2006 program will begin on June 1. Checks must be picked up by September 30, 2006 (last Agency business day is September 29) and used by November 30, 2006. In prior years, this has been a very popular program, so individuals are encouraged to pick up their checks at their earliest convenience.
This program allows each eligible individuals to receive four $5 checks, for a total of $20 per person. The checks must be used to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables at specified locations. If a check is used to make a purchase of less than $5, the bearer of the check is not entitled to change; however, individuals will be required to pay the difference for purchases that exceed the face value of the checks. It is advised that participants be prepared to spend the entire $5 check when they visit a market. Checks must be endorsed only in the presence of Farmers’ Market personnel.
To be eligible to receive a check, you must be 60 years of age or over, a resident of Blair County and have a total income for 2005 of $18,130 or under for an individual or $24,420 or under for a couple. Proof of age and residency, such as a driver’s license or photo ID, are required. Checks will be distributed at seven of the nine senior centers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and on all weekdays at the Blair Senior Service Center in downtown Altoona. If you wish, you may register for a meal at any of the senior centers and get your checks at the same time. For more information, call Blair Senior Services’ Intake staff at 946-1235.
Checks, and a list of participating area farmers’ markets will be available at the Blair Senior Service Center, 1320 Twelfth Avenue, Altoona Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Bellwood, Claysburg, Duncansville, Martinsburg, Roaring Spring, Tyrone and Williamsburg Senior Community Centers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Center schedules vary to accommodate planned activities and events, so please contact the Senior Center you plan to visit to confirm that the Center will be open on a specific day.