PITTSBURG, Kan. — Low-income senior citizens may be eligible for a program that provides checks to purchase fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables and honey at farmers markets in selected counties throughout the state, including in Cherokee and Crawford counties.

The Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program is providing low-income seniors who meet age and income requirements with $35 in checks to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from authorized farmers at local participating farmers markets from Wednesday through Nov. 1. Checks are available in $5 increments.

To be eligible, residents must be 60 or older on the day the money is issued, and their annual gross household income must be at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. For example, a household of one must have an annual gross income at or below $23,606, or a monthly gross income at or below $1,968.

Applications for the program will be available beginning Wednesday at the Pittsburg Public Housing Authority office, 216 N. Broadway, Suite G. Residents may apply between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. The office is closed because of COVID-19; call 620-232-1210 when arriving and housing staff will bring a voucher out.

Benefits will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

The program is a project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service and is coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The launch of the program comes as the Pittsburg Farmers Market adds a Wednesday session to its weekly Saturday session. The market, located at the intersection of 11th and Broadway streets, will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday this week through Aug. 5. It also will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

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