Participants in the Senior FarmShare Program are entitled to receive a FarmShare ($50 worth) of first-quality, fresh, local produce from a Maine farm for a core eight-week period during the growing season. The variety of produce and supply method will vary depending on the farm you choose.

To participate in the Maine Senior FarmShare Program you must be a Maine resident, 60 years old or older (55 if Native American) and meet income eligibility guidelines – a maximum of $21,590 per year for a one-person household or $29,101 per year for a two-person household.

Participants will sign an agreement with a farmer to use their entire FarmShare by the date the farmer sets. Only sign up for a FarmShare if you are fairly certain you will be able to use the entire $50 amount. You must let the farmer know if you will not use your entire $50 FarmShare.

Things you should consider when signing up with a farmer:

Does the farm grow fruits and vegetables that you enjoy?

• Are you required to go pick up your produce from the farm, or does the farmer deliver to you?

• If you have to pick up your produce, do you have transportation to get to the farm enough times through the season to use your full $50 FarmShare?

• Is the place where you have to pick up your produce close enough to your home?

• Do you choose what you will receive or does the farmer choose for you? (This will be explained by the farmer and written on the agreement form.)

Different farms participating in the Senior FarmShare program offer different types of fruits and vegetables. You should check with the farmer before signing up to be sure the farm’s offerings will meet your needs. The fruits and vegetables will be available at different times during the growing season. Since the FarmShare program only includes Maine-grown produce, you should realize that you will not receive items such as bananas, oranges, lemons and other tropical fruits.

Seniors who qualify for Senior FarmShare may also qualify for other benefits. Contact the Area Agency on Aging by calling the 877-353-3771 regarding other benefit opportunities.

For a list of participating farmers, go to www.getrealmaine.com and you can print a list. If you do not have a computer/printer, check with your local library or senior center. The list includes all counties and is 26 pages long – you may want to locate the county in which you live, and check for the nearest farmer.

Kay Soldier welcomes reader ideas for column topics of interest to seniors. She can be reached by email at [email protected], or write to 114 Tandberg Trail, Windham, ME 04062.


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