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Gov. Cuomo announces $1.8 million to give seniors access to farmers markets

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday an award of $1.8 million in federal funds for a state-administered program aimed at providing low-income senior citizens with access to fresh produce at farmers markets across the state.

This year, the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program aims to distribute more than 100,000 booklets — which contain five $4 checks each — to eligible seniors who can use the checks at 470 farmers markets across the state, including eight in Jefferson County, three in Lewis County and 13 in St. Lawrence County.

The program is administered through the state Department of Agriculture and Markets in cooperation with the state Office for the Aging, state Department of Health’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The checks will be issued by county-based Offices for the Aging.

Eligible recipients must be 60 or older and have a gross monthly income at or below 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines:

n $1,772 per month for a one-person household.

n $2,392 per month for a two-person household.

n $3,011 per month for a three-person household.

Seniors 60 and older also are eligible for the program if they are receiving or eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income, public assistance or a Section 8 housing subsidy.

A complete list of farmers markets that will be accepting the checks, categorized by county, is available at http://wdt.me/J9acLU.

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