Summertime Means Farmers' Markets
It’s summer time in Massachusetts and summer means Farmers Markets, offering healthy, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables to Massachusetts residents. For income eligible seniors, 60 and over, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs coordinate the distribution of Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) coupons, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Coupons will be available at the 26 Senior Nutrition Programs, beginning on or about July 1. Eligible seniors will receive one coupon book worth $25.00 distributed on a “first come first serve basis.” A few Farmers Markets double the value of the coupons, so be sure to ask if yours does. You can also use the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) coupons at many Massachusetts Farmers Markets and some of them also give you double the face value of your SNAP dollar.
Farmers Markets are a great source of the freshest produce, because it is local, less likely to be treated with chemicals and most likely to last longer. You can talk to the farmers who grew your fruits and vegetables and buy just the quantity you need — nothing is prepackaged. Even if you don’t qualify for the SFMNP coupons, Farmers Markets are a good value for your food dollar. For a nutrition program near you, check out: www.mass.gov/elders/meals-nutrition/mass-elderly-nutrition-program-sites.html or www.mass.gov/dta and www.mass.gov/agr. If you’d like to apply for SNAP benefits, check out www.mass.gov/elders/meals-nutrition/snap-for-seniors.html.
Massachusetts Registers with AEDA
At Governor Deval Patrick’s direction, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to register with the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), thereby providing all those who work for the Commonwealth with access to information, care and support resources for a loved one with dementia and for family caregivers. At the same time, the Commonwealth became the 100th state employer to join the Alliance. In 2010, recognizing the increasing incidence and impact of Alzheimer’s Disease, Governor Patrick convened a task force to develop a state plan with recommendations, goals and strategies for improving the lives of patients and their families. Among the recommendations, the task force included state participation in the Alliance.
State workers will find the information at www.mass.gov/hrd. The Alzheimer’s Association provides information and resources to everyone at its website: www.alz.org/manh, or call the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at 1-800-Age-Info (1-800-236-4636).