Senior Solutions: Farm to Family Coupons are available

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Starting this week, about $151,860 in coupons will be available to help eligible Vermonters buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets and farm stands. Coupons are issued on a first come, first served basis and may be used at any of the markets and farm stands enrolled in the program this summer.

Families enrolled in the Vermont Department of Health's WIC Program can apply at special Farm to Family sessions held in your district. Get the schedule in the June WIC newsletter or by calling your local health office. If you need the phone number of your local office, call 800-649-4357. Vermont households with incomes at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty limit may apply at their local community action agency. Current income limits are $1,926 a month for a single person, $2,607 for a couple, $3,289 for a family of three, $3,970 for a family of four and $4,652 for a family of five.

"We expect over 240 produce growers to participate in the program this season," Sean Brown, deputy commissioner of the Economic Services Division in the Department for Children and Families, said in a news release. "Every coupon spent puts $6 directly into the pocket of a Vermont farmer. This supports Vermont's farm economy while putting great local foods on family dinner tables."

To learn more, visit dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/f2f.

Participating Farmers' Markets include: Springfield, Bellows Falls, Putney, Claremont, N.H., Brattleboro, Norwich, Manchester, Royalton, Hanover, N.H., Randolph, and Townshend.

As part of Senior Solutions Workplace Wellness efforts, we are playing croquet from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoons at the Commons Park on Summer Hill St., in Springfield. You are welcome to come and watch. Your office may want to play with us. If your organization or business would like to start your own team, let me know and I will help you set it up. Call 802-885-2669. Croquet is a great way to have fun, get fresh air and move around outside. We can all play. Anyone from 18 to 90 can play successfully. Strategy develops over time!

We are looking for more people in Windham and Windsor counties who would like a free Home Meds assessment to screen for harmful interactions and side effects of medications in your home. Call the Help Line at 802-885-2669 and ask to have our nurse call you for an appointment. No charge and no income criteria. This is for everyone 60 years and older in Windsor and Windham counties.

Our Visitor Programs are growing rapidly. They are a great way to fight against loneliness. The newest project, the Vet-2-Vet, is making a transition in Brattleboro. We are getting a new commandant at the American Legion who will be starting in August. We look forward to meeting him together with outgoing commandant, John Hagen. In Chester we have been directed to contact Commandant Ron Farr who we will meet with once our visitor coordinator returns from vacation in two weeks. These two veteran facilities are dedicated to service and love the idea of extending the "Buddy" system they learned in the service. Spread the word and start locating participants. This is all about our veterans doing things together!

Joann Erenhouse, Esq., is the community relations director for Senior Solutions.

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