July 7, 2013

Program provides fresh produce for some seniors

New Hampshire will give fruits and vegetables to low-income residents 60 and older.

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — A statewide program will soon start distributing fresh produce to more than 4,500 low-income seniors in New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Farm Fresh Delivery Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Nutrition Service, provides seniors with locally grown fruits and vegetables from 18 farmers in the state.

Each bundle has a value of about $18 and includes at least four different fruits and vegetables, ranging from apples to zucchini.

Fruits and vegetables will be distributed to seniors from mid-July through mid-September at more than 60 food program sites in New Hampshire.

Qualifying seniors are age 60 and older. Income guidelines are up to $1,245 monthly for a senior living alone and $1,681 monthly for a family of two.

Seniors are enrolled through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides a monthly food benefit that includes canned meats, fruits, cereal, pasta, and other items. That's administered by the state Health Department.

"Public health nutrition programs like these provide nutrition services to low-income seniors who may have a difficult time finding affordable fresh fruits and vegetables," said Jos?ontero, director of public health at the state Department of Health and Human Services.

"By providing these foods and education to seniors, we hope to prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes."

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