Louisiana's agriculture commissioner urges seniors on limited incomes to apply for coupons that can be used for locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables and other food at farmers markets and roadside stands.
To qualify, people must be at least 60 years old and earn less than 185 percent of the poverty level. That means at most $20,147 for a one-person household and $27,214 for a two-person household.
Commissioner Mike Strain says the state has $342,790 for this year's program. Coupons will be mailed at the end of May.
He says each qualifying senior will get six coupons, each worth $4. They can be used only to buy fresh produce, cut herbs and honey at markets and stands which show a gold sign certifying that the state has certified them for the program.
The coupons cannot be redeemed in supermarkets, grocery stores or at non-participating farms.
Currently, 46 farmers markets and 93 roadside stands in the state accept the coupons.
People who get the coupons also will get a directory of participating farmers markets and roadside stands where they can be spent.
The coupons are for $4 each and no change can be given.
"This is a great way for qualifying seniors to supplement their diets with top quality produce grown by Louisiana farmers," Strain said. "Last year we distributed more than 16,000 coupons."
Strain said seniors must redeem the coupons before the Nov. 30, 2012, expiration date.