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Farmers market participating in state nutrition program

The Boyle County Farmers’ Market is now set up and ready to participate in the Ky. Department of Agriculture’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Qualifying seniors can also double their purchases by using the market’s Double Dollars program.

The farmers’ market is held at Constitution Square every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the growing season. And now 15 vendors have been approved to accept the senior nutrition program vouchers which are distributed through the Blue Grass Community Action Partnership.

Signs will be set up at each participating vendor’s booth signifying that they can accept the vouchers.

Seniors on fixed incomes can apply for a packet of five vouchers valued at $6 each to spend at the local farmers’ market at BGCAP’s office at 225 West Walnut Street in Danville.

Once approved and vouchers in hand, the participants can go to the Double Dollars tent at the market where the program will match the vouchers dollar for dollar, said market volunteer Julie Pease. That comes out to $60 to spend at the market throughout the summer, “and it doesn’t cost them (seniors) a dime,” Pease said.

The goals of both voucher programs are two fold – to help low-income seniors have access to fresh, locally grown vegetables; and help the farmers have more customers, Pease explained. “It’s a win win.”

“There’s always a good deal at the market,” she said. Especially when there’s an abundance of produce, like when tomatoes and corn come into season, Pease added. Then shoppers can get even more for their money, she said.

The Double Dollars program is sponsored by the Community Farm Alliance, of which the Boyle County Farmers’ Market is a member, Pease said. Each market puts money into a fund which is then distributed to the participating markets’ Double Dollars program. So in essence, the farmers themselves are helping to get healthy food to the people who really need it, she said.

Pease said vendors at the Boyle County Farmers’ Market will soon be able to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT cards as well.