BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — Seniors enrolled in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program will receive $24 worth of fresh produce coupons this week. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry says over $370,000 worth of coupons were distributed last year. More than 14,000 seniors have signed up already this year.
The coupons can be used at 41 famers markets and 90 roadside stands across the state. And local farmers say they are reaping the rewards too.
Anna Dominguez laid out fresh tomatoes in her usual spot at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge Thursday. She runs Papa John’s Family Farm in Ponchatoula and says she’s already seeing an increase in customers, coupons in hand. Dominguez says that’s not the only benefit.
"I think it helps the elderly eat more fresh vegetables and fruit,” says Dominguez. “Of course it helps us too. So it’s a win, win situation, really."
Beverly Hayes agrees. She couldn’t afford fresh fruit before getting the coupons. Now she visits the farmers market weekly.
"I enjoyed it,” Hayes says smiling. “I'm a senior citizen and I get everything I could to try to help me save some money.”
To qualify for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, you must be at least 60 years old and earn less than $20,147 or $27,214 for the household.
For more information, call 985-345-9483 or visit the LDAF website at www.LDAF.la.gov  and type Farmers Market Nutrition Program in the "Search Input" field at the top of the left-hand column.