Living Columns & Blogs

Are you eligible for a farmers market voucher in Centre County? Here’s what to know

With the arrival of spring, after a long winter, comes the annual distribution of the farmers market vouchers.

Distribution will be held at the Centre County Office of Aging on Monday, June 3. The Office of Aging has a set amount of checks available; this is a first come, first served program.

Eligibility guidelines are by both age and income. Individuals who will be 60 by Dec. 31, 2019 must also meet the financial guidelines; $23,107 per individual and $31,284 for 2 people. Income is self-declared; no documentation is needed, but requires a signature on the federal form verifying gross income guidelines are met.

Each eligible person receives four $5 checks for a total of $20 once each year. The checks are for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown in Pennsylvania. Checks must be spent at a participating vendor at a farmers market. They can’t be spent in a grocery store. Farmer-Vendors can be identified by a bright green sign at their booths. If there isn’t any signage, simply ask the farmer if they accept the checks. Lists of markets are available at the senior resource centers or at the Office of Aging.

Checks must be picked up in the county the person lives in but can be spent in any county in Pennsylvania. (Residents of Centre County must get their vouchers in Centre County but can spend them at any approved farmers market including Belleville, Lewisburg, etc.) The first day of use is June 3 and all must be used by Nov. 30.

When picking up the farmers market checks at one of the following locations, please make sure to bring proof of residence in Centre County and age — a driver’s license, PA photo id, or PA Real ID. If you don’t have one of these, please bring a birth certificate and a utility bill (with your local address).

Checks are available starting Monday, June 3, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Centre County Office of Aging, 420 Holmes St. Room 245, Bellefonte. For more information, call 355-6716.

Checks are also available at area senior resource centers:

Tuesday, June 4, 8:30-11 a.m.: Snow Shoe Center, Mountaintop Medical Center, Snow Shoe. 387-4086.

Thursday, June 6, 8:30-11 a.m.: Bellefonte Center, 203 N. Spring St., Bellefonte. 355-6720.

Friday, June 7, 9-11 a.m. at the Active Adult Center at Nittany Mall. 231-3076.

Friday, June 7, 12:30-3 p.m. at the Philipsburg Center, 300 N. Front Street, Philipsburg. 342-6549.

Wednesday, June 12, 8-11:30 a.m. at the Penns Valley Center, 102 Leisure Lane, Madisonburg. 349-8188.

Tuesday, June 18, 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Centre Hall Center located in the Centre Hall Fire Hall. 364-9511.

If someone who is eligible isn’t able to get to one of these sites to get the checks, there is a proxy form that must be used. A proxy form must be presented when picking up checks for another person. The proxy form must be signed by the senior participant (the eligible person) before checks can be issued. The proxy (the person picking up the checks) must also sign the form. The proxy forms can be picked up in advance at any senior center or at the Office of Aging.

Those who have received the vouchers in the past have shared how much they enjoy and appreciate being able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. “I buy apples late in the season and I am able to enjoy them all winter” or “When is Rhubarb in season” or “the corn they grow is so delicious” are comments made many times.

For more information, please call 355-6716 or email aging@centrecountypa.gov.

Sandy Schuckers is an administrative officer at the Centre County Office of Aging.
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