Through the Arizona Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), Yavapai County Cooperative Extension’s AZ Health Zone team, Prescott Farmers Market (PFM) and Chandler-based Pinnacle Prevention collaborated to get fresh fruits and vegetables to 32 low-income seniors living at Village Towers in Prescott on October 24.
In July, Pinnacle Prevention, whose mission is to inspire and advance a healthy food system and opportunities for active living, launched the newly revamped Farmers Market Nutrition Program at 18 sites across the state. The FMNP provides Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables to women and children participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and to seniors who participate in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) through $30 worth of farmers market coupons https://www.pinnacleprevention.org/azfmnp.htm. After two months of implementing the program, Pinnacle Prevention recognized that many eligible seniors were not able to attend the market to receive or redeem the coupons due to transportation issues and the risk of contracting COVID-19 posed by leaving their home. At PFM, an Authorized Farmers Market for issuing FMNP coupons, less than 2% of available coupons were issued to eligible seniors. In response to the low redemption rate by seniors AZ Health Zone connected Pinnacle Prevention to eligible residents at Good Samaritan Village Towers and brought fresh produce to them!
Through this partnership, $960 worth of FMNP coupons were used to provide 32 low-income seniors with bags containing carrots, onions, apples, grapes, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic. These produce items were purchased from the following PFM vendors: Aguiar Farms, Paulden; Reyes Farm, Paulden; Sun Valley Harvest, Glendale; Whipstone Farm, Paulden; Cielo Azul Vineyard, Chino Valley; Mina’s Farm, Camp Verde; and Blooming Reed Farm, Paulden. PFM also provided each senior with a vegetable peeler to aid in food prep.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program has ended for 2020. The next season will begin tentatively in February 2021. For more information about the FMNP and to learn about Pinnacle Prevention’s other services, visit https://www.pinnacleprevention.org/. To find out more about the work of AZ Health Zone, visit https://www.azhealthzone.org/. PFM is proud to partner with these agencies and looks forward to future collaborations.