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Identity & Community

Seniors Get Financial Assistance For Farmers Markets

Qualifying seniors can head off to farmers markets in the Pittsburgh area starting June 17 with $20 worth of checks in hand provided by the Allegheny County Department of Health Services Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

“The goal of the program is to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to the eligible seniors in our area and to support the farmers,” said Marian Matik, administrative officer for AAA.

Seniors can pick up four checks totaling $20 to be redeemed at various area farmers markets, or if they have difficulty getting there they may send a proxy.

“They enjoy it. They really do. We start getting calls in January to figure out when we will start distributing the checks, and they redeem the checks at a very high percentage, 86 percent,” said Matik, who also said the markets provide a social event for the seniors as well.

Seniors must live in Allegheny County. They must be 60 years or older before the end of 2014 and make less than $21,590 annually in a one person household or $29,101 in a two-person household.

The program has been supporting 24,000 seniors since 1998.