Pennsylvania Governor’s Administration Advocates for Senior Feeding Program Flexibilities, Congressional Action Needed to Protect Vulnerable Populations

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres today penned a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation urging legislative action to enable Pennsylvania’s older adults to access the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program during the mitigation effort.

Typically, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition program application and eligibility verification is completed at a senior center or at one of Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging. Distribution of the vouchers also takes place at these locations.  However, since these locations are currently closed to the public, older adults would have difficulty directly accessing this program.

The proposed temporary waiver would allow eligible older adults to complete their application over the phone or electronically, with vouchers mailed directly to their homes.

In addition to advocating for contact-free eligibility verification, the administration asked for additional administrative funds to cover banking costs incurred by farmers and partner agencies with increased costs for mailing vouchers and other required materials. At a time when budgets have been put under increasing financial strains, the provision of these administrative funds would relieve some of the additional costs incurred in carrying out this program.

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