New Mobile App Connects Pennsylvanians With Farmers Markets
Harrisburg, PA (WENY)-- There’s a new smart phone app allowing Pennsylvanians to find fresh, healthy food across the state. It’s targeted toward older and at-risk residents to help them locate farmers markets where they can use vouchers. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture unveiled the new Farmers Market Nutrition Program App Thursday, and it’s connecting the 1.7 million Pennsylvania residents at risk of hunger with fresh, local produce.
“Over 10 percent of the population of Pennsylvania struggles to find access to food. And food is a basic human right,” says Russell Redding, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program makes vouchers available to older residents and Women, Infants, and Children or WIC from June through November. This new app helps connect residents with those vouchers to farmers markets that accept them. To qualify, seniors must be 60 by December 31st, and not have an income level exceeding 185 percent of the poverty level. WIC includes women who are pregnant or had a baby within the past six months, or past year if breastfeeding, and infants and children under 5. The program makes sure these populations have a healthy source of food.
"The Farmers Market Nutrition Program seeks to link nutritious, whole foods produced by Pennsylvania farmers with vulnerable populations to increase healthy food consumption and overall health,” says Jill Campbell, a Registered Dietician with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
To download the app, head to the Apple App Store (iPhone only) or Google Play Store. Type the letters FMNP in the search bar, and tap the “Get Button.” The app is completely free, and will connect you with farmers markets in your area and their contact info, hours, and directions. It helps everyone, not just at-risk residents, find local sources of food.
“You can put in your location if you want, or you can search by county, you can search by certain markets,” Secretary Redding explains.
It’s the height of produce season in Pennsylvania, and there’s no better time to check out your local farmers market for healthy, fresh food. Click here to learn more about Pennsylvania's Farmers Market Nutrition Program