News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contacts:
Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 or
Release #09-025
Program enables eligible seniors to purchase fruits, vegetables, other nutritious items with check booklets
SACRAMENTO, April 22, 2009 - Low-income seniors will find it a little easier to buy locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and cut herbs starting in May thanks to California’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture teams up with California’s 33 Area Agencies on Aging to distribute check booklets to eligible seniors who will receive one booklet per year. Each booklet consists of 10 checks worth $2 each to be redeemed at certified farmers’ markets.  Checks may be used to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and cut herbs.

The program aims to increase low-income seniors’ consumption of agricultural commodities and encourages seniors to consider farmers’ markets as a regular source of wholesome nutrition.  Approximately 350 certified farmers’ markets throughout the state have applied and been approved to participate in this program.

CDFA receives funding for this program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Food and Nutrition Service. The agency has allocated approximately $800,000 for the state’s program in 2009.  California’s annual program runs from May through November.

Seniors interested in participating in the program can find their local Area Agency on Aging (listed by county) by contacting CDFA’s Federal Funds Management Office via email at, or via phone at (916) 657-3231.  The list and other information about the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program are also available online at

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814