Deadline is looming for using Project FRESH and Market FRESH vouchers

It is important to use any Project FRESH or Market FRESH coupons before the Oct. 31 deadline.

With Oct. 31 right around the corner, people with Project FRESH and Market FRESH coupons only have a few more weeks to use their coupons.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services continues to offer two programs to assist Michigan residents in purchasing farm fresh and nutritious commodities at farmers markets. These two programs are Project FRESH and Market FRESH, also known as Senior Project FRESH. Early in the farmers’ market season, many qualifying residents received coupons that can be used to purchase Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables at participating markets. The coupons must be used by Oct.31.

Project FRESH coupons are issued to women and children who are currently enrolled in WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Coupons must be used within the year they are issued and are valid June 1 – Oct.31. If you think you may qualify for WIC, you can find a pre-screening tool here.

Market FRESH coupons are issued to seniors who are at least 60 years of age and have a total household income of 185 percent of poverty or less. Coupons are distributed by local organizations including senior centers and Michigan State University Extension. You can search here for a Market FRESH distribution agency in your county.

Both Project FRESH and Market FRESH coupons can be used to purchase delicious Michigan-grown produce including strawberries and asparagus found early in the season as well as pumpkins, eggplant and winter squash in the fall! Market FRESH coupons can also be used to purchase honey.

The Michigan Farmers Market Association has a website that helps residents find participating Project FRESH and Market FRESH farmers markets. With Michigan ranking second in the nation for agricultural diversity, the variety of fruits and vegetables produced in Michigan can lead to a variety of consumer tastes and preferences being met.

If you decide on purchasing some brussel sprouts with your coupons, you might want to try the following recipe. Feel free to season with your favorite herbs. These roasted vegetables are packed with nutrients and can be enjoyed on their own or added to soups, stews, salads and main dishes.

1) Wash and slice brussel sprouts into quarters. (Slice through the stem to keep quarters intact.)

2) Place quarters on a lightly oiled baking tray and roast at 400 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, flipping once, until edges are lightly browned.

With the end of the season coming, please remember to spend your coupons by Oct. 31.

To connect with a Michigan State University Extension staff member in your area, visit the expert page, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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