Senior citizens and those representing seniors lined both sides of North Gadberry Street Thursday during a four-hour food coupon distribution event at the Union County Council on Aging. The $25 coupons were distributed to 320 low-income seniors age 60 and older who will be able to use them to buy fresh produce at local farmers’ markets. The Union County Council on Aging will hold another distribution event on June 24 to distribute the remaining 80 coupons.
Union County Council on Aging Director Earl Black and Council on Aging Food Bank Coordinator Peggy O’Dell take the applications of two of the 320 people who applied for and received $25 coupons on Thursday. The coupons, which seniors can use to purchase fresh produce at local farmers’ markets, were distributed by the Council on Aging in partnership with the SC Department of Social Services.
Some of those standing in line for Thursday’s food coupon distribution event at the Union Senior Citizens Center lined up along the building across the street from the center in order to get out of the sun. Despite the heat, 320 people’s wait in line in the heat was rewarded when they applied for and received the coupons which will allow them to purchase $25 worth of fresh produce from local farmers’ markets.
UNION COUNTY — More than 300 senior citizens received coupons that will help them purchase fresh produce during a four-hour distribution event Thursday sponsored by the Union County Council on Aging and the SC Department of Social Services.
The distribution took place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Union Senior Citizens Center on North Gadberry Street. Both sides of the street were lined with seniors or their representatives waiting for the chance to apply for $25 worth of coupons. The coupons, which are distributed to low-income individuals age 60 and older, can be used by recipients to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets through Oct. 15.
The coupons are distributed through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program which seeks to supplement the diets of low-income seniors with fresh, nutritious produce while also supporting South Carolina’s small farmers.
The Union County Council on Aging partnered with the SC Department of Social Services to take the applications from seniors applying for the coupons and distribute them to qualified applicants during Thursday’s event.
Council on Aging Director Earl Black said that during the four-hour distribution event a total of 320 coupons were issued to the seniors waiting in line or, in the case of home bound seniors, their representatives.
“We had three hundred and twenty people to receive coupons yesterday,” Black said Friday morning. “We did everybody that was in line yesterday, we didn’t turn anybody away.”
Those waiting their turn to apply for the coupons lined North Gadberry Street trying to take advantage of any and all available shade, but Black said some were unable to remain in line until they could be seen.
“It was hot and a lot of people had to wait in line and some left because of the heat,” Black said. “We saw everybody as quickly as we could and everybody that waited we saw, we turned nobody away.”
Black said the hundreds of people who stood in line in the heat to apply for the coupons shows just how badly many seniors need the help those coupons can provide them in helping them put food their tables.
Those that did leave the line Thursday because of the heat and those that could not make the event will have another chance to apply for the remaining coupons.
“We have eighty coupons left and we’re going to do them on June 24 here at the Senior Citizens Center,” Black said. “It will begin at 9 a.m. and go until they’re are all gone. It will be on a first come first served basis like Thursday and we will do the first 80 people that come.”
For more information contact the Union County Council on Aging at 864-429-1682.