Text and photos by Ron O’Clair
I would have to say the senior citizens event held yesterday at the Worcester Youth Center was a smashing success! I got there shortly after it began and there were already 131 seniors lined up, having been given a number to wait their turn to receive their Farm Produce vouchers – accepted at all Worcester REC FARMERS MARKETS and others outside the city.
This opportunity was open to Worcester residents aged 60 and over. And has been run by Friendly House Executive Director Gordon Hargrove for years.
You could get a form to have any homebound elder fill out and return it to get them their own $25 worth of coupons. I saw this with a man in his 70s asking about his mother who is at home and who is 100 years old and couldn’t come in person! He was given a form that she needed to sign, and when he brings that form back, they will help her as well.
I think this is a wonderful program that enables many people who otherwise could not afford to buy the often higher priced produce and bread at farmers markets. Along with the vouchers, you could get a color publication called “Welcome to the Farmers’ Market!” put out by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Executive Office of Elder Affairs. It is chock-full of advice on how to use the Farmers Market vouchers, recipes, healthy cooking tips, advice and a complete list of when and where Farmers Market will be through out the season.
The folks who got the vouchers at the Worcester Youth Center on Chandler Street only had to walk out the door and into the next parking lot to attend the REC Farmers Market being held there. REC HOLDS FARMERS MARKETS THERE EVERY MONDAY and FRIDAY 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., as well as Crystal Park, Main Street across from Clark University, on Saturdays, 9 a – 1 p. The seniors were able to spend all or some of their coupons and bring home a tasty treat of healthy, locally farm grown fruit or produce.
There was a tremendous turnout, which goes to show you that Woecester has many “food-insecure” seniors. People moved through the lines steadily, none having to wait for very long. It was well run and efficient.
Unfortunately, I was not eligible to participate. I have to wait a few more years to reach that milestone of 60!
REC COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKETS
Now – November 2😊🍆
Creating Access to Healthy, Affordable, Local Food!🍓🌽
🇺🇸(Crystal Park) UNIVERSITY PARK FARM STAND:
Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM
Across the street from Clark University – 965 Main St.
🇺🇸BEAVER BROOK PARK FARMERS’ MARKET:
Mondays & Fridays, 9 AM – 1 PM
306 Chandler St. (across from Foley Stadium)
And, for our Worcester teens and children! Free Summer Meals at our city swimming pools, playgrounds, libraries and parks!
Email Ron at Ronaldoclair@hotmail.com