Health and Wellness: Free farm produce is available to those in need

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

This is the time of summer that the gardens are really producing. Maybe you’re already up to your ears in sweet corn and every square inch in your kitchen is occupied by tomatoes. On the other hand, you may be in a situation that either your health or lack of yard space means you have to buy your produce. 

If you’re age 60 or older, or if you’re pregnant or parenting children under age 6, you may be able to get free fresh produce. Both groups must meet income criteria to be eligible. 

Older adults can get $30 of vouchers to spend this season. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children provides $27 of vouchers for pregnant families and those with young children. The WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers may be used at farmers markets, individual farm stands, or community supported agriculture farms throughout Iowa. Look for signs saying the vendor accepts these vouchers. 

The staff members of Dallas County Health Department tend a garden and donate the fresh vegetables to various senior housing apartment complexes and to the food rescue refrigerator at the Perry Public Library. Westview Church in Waukee and Grace Lutheran Church of Adel also share produce from their gardens.