MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

- Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced today senior citizens in Mercer County will again have the opportunity to receive fresh produce checks that will enable them to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farm stands. This opportunity is for seniors who have not yet received their checks.

Representatives from the Mercer County Nutrition Office will offer the checks on a first come- first serve basis on Friday, September 23 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service Building, 930 Spruce Street, Lawrence. Eligible senior citizens will receive checks to redeem $20 in fresh produce at various vendor sites throughout the county. Vouchers will be distributed in four $5 denominations and are valid until November, 30, 2011.

“This is an important opportunity for seniors in Mercer County, especially as everyone is trying to get the most for their money,” said Hughes. “Additionally, eating a healthy diet will help combat concerns associated with chronic conditions like heart trouble, diabetes or high blood pressure.”

The Farmers Market program was developed to provide low-income seniors with checks they can use to purchase fresh produce grown by New Jersey farmers. The Mercer County Nutrition Project is the lead agency and coordinator in Mercer County for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, and has been for a number of years. Effective July 1, 2011 the figures are as follows: single person income must not exceed $20,147 per year; a couple’s income must not exceed $27,214 per year.

Documentation is required for certification that includes:
  • Identity and Residency Proof
    • Driver’s License, Utility/Phone Bill or Birth Certificate
  • Income Proof
    • Current income tax return, Social Security Statement, or Medicare or Food Stamp Program card

The Mercer County Nutrition Project reminds seniors of these guidelines:

  • You must be 60 years old to receive checks.
  • You must provide proof of income or self-declare your gross income to meet the income guidelines.
  • You may not pick up checks for anyone other than yourself, unless you are serving as a proxy.
  • Checks may be used only at certified farm stands - not grocery stores. Stands will display a yellow poster indicating that they accept these checks.
  • Only one set of checks per person will be awarded each year.
  • Couples can each receive their own set of checks.
For additional information, contact the Mercer County Nutrition Project for the Elderly, Farmers Market Program at (609) 989-6652.