The Iowa Department of Agriculture hopes a new plan will help family farmers and the elderly at the same time. Ag Department horticulturist Mike Bevins says the plan offers low-income seniors vouchers to spend at local farmers markets.Bevins says the state is using a federal grant to pay for the vouchers. He says the program is positive in a couple of ways, it gives farmers another outlet for their products, and it gives the elderly good healthy food.Bevins says about 500 vendors have signed up to take the vouchers and usually advertise with signs in front of their booths. Bevins says other states with the program showed good success.He says the program also includes an educational component that teaches the elderly way to cook and use the produce.Bevins says transportation to the farmers markets may be the biggest hurdle faced by the elderly. Seniors who want to apply for the program can sign up through their area agency on aging or congregate meals site.
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