Vouchers give York County seniors access to free local fruits and vegetables

Matt Enright
York Dispatch
Associate Julie Rudy restocks baskets of apples at Brown's Orchards & Farm Market in Springfield Township, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A county program will again  make it easier for area seniors to get fruits and vegetables.

Through the York Area Agency on Aging in partnership with the state Department of Agriculture, seniors who qualify will receive vouchers for $24 toward Pennsylvania-grown fruits and vegetables from participating farmers markets.

Eligible York County seniors must be 60 years or older by Dec. 31 and have an income at or below $23,828 for an individual or $32,227  for a two-person household. Both may receive vouchers if eligible.

Proof of age and York County residency is required.

As it was last year, the process for obtaining vouchers is virtual. To obtain an application for vouchers, seniors may download it from ycaaa.org, email aging@yorkcountypa.gov, call 717-771-9610 or call their local senior center.

Seniors who live in a nursing home, personal care home or other residential facility where meals are provided are not eligible for vouchers.

York Area Agency on Aging Director of Operations and Outreach Ross Stanko said that since the program started last week, the organization has been getting a steady stream of applications and interest. In past years, vouchers had been available at farmers markets, and last year's change saw a dip in the number of  applications.

“That was the way that the community was used to doing it, so last year’s numbers definitely dropped a little, but we’re still proud of the numbers that we put up last year,” Stanko said last week.

“We’ve been having a steady stream coming since the launch came in, we started accepting applications last week. We’ve definitely had a steady stream of applications and interest in the program.”

Vouchers must be used between June 1 and Nov. 30. The application for vouchers must be submitted by Sept. 15.