With many people struggling to still afford basic needs across the country, most of which stems from the rising inflation costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Wisconsin has taken steps to make sure seniors continue to receive nutrition despite financial setbacks. The Senior Farmers Market Voucher Program provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs. In Milwaukee, the program is being handled by the state’s Hunger Task Force.
“Inflation hurts people and it hurts the food bank,” Sherrie Tussler said, executive director of the Hunger Task Force. “They’re scared. I talked to a lady earlier today who started to cry because I told her she could probably be eligible for Foodshare as well.”
Eligibility remains relatively the same regardless of location within the state, though the vouchers may be given out from varying organizations all working together to give back to the community during the increasingly difficult time. Applicants must be a resident of their respective counties, age 60 or older (Native American Elders must be 55 or older), Gross household incomes must be less than 185% federal poverty level: a 1 person household income would be $2,096 per month or less and a 2 person household income being $2,823 per month or less; for each additional household member, add $728 per month. Remember to add back in your Medicare premiums to your Social Security check to calculate your gross income.
Applications can be done online, through mail, or in person. If supplies are exhausted before receiving your application, you will be contacted. Vouchers are given out on a first come first serve basis, and are in limited supply.
Milwaukee will have two more scheduled distribution events for the vouchers, the first will take place July 19th from 9 am to noon at Wilson Park Senior Center: 2601 W. Howard Avenue, Milwaukee. The second event will take place August 2nd from 9 am to noon at Washington Park Senior Center: 4420 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee.
For more information and to register within the Milwaukee area, follow the link here: https://www.hungertaskforce.org/about-hunger/federal-nutrition-programs/senior-farmers-market-vouchers/