Sunday, August 16, 2009

Illinois Provides Fresh Produce for Low Income Homes

According to an press release, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol. L. Adams and Department on Aging Director Charles Johnson have announced a $1 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture for the 2007 Woman Infant and Childrens and Senior Farmers Market programs in the state. This money will allow low income families to buy freshly grown produce at local markets and grocery stores.

WIC and the Senior Farmers Market programs want to encourage low-income families and seniors to improve their diets with the help of the government. They hope that this would help them afford locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

IDHS Secretary Adams said, "Everyone, regardless of their financial status, should have access to healthy, affordable foods. It's exciting to see this program continue successfully because it not only provides a healthier source of produce for low-income families and seniors, it also improves business for local farmers and promotes fresh, home-grown products."

From now on, checks will be given to those participating in the program. Booklets with the $3 checks will with be given out between July 1st and October 31st. Seniors will receive $21 booklets and WIC participants will get $15 booklets.

All of the participating programs hope that this will encourage long-term consumption of fruits and vegetables, and also support healthy eating and help fight obesity and poor nutrition in Illinois.

Nearly 60,000 women, children, and senior citizens have been able to consume locally grown healthy fruits and vegetables on a normal basis.

Department of Aging Director Charles Johnson said "Good nutrition is essential at any stage in a person's life. The Illinois Department on Aging is proud to be part of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program- a program that encourages seniors to improve their diets and get the nutrition they need, while at the same time helps our farmers gain sales."

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Post by Tally Gunstone

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