Young families and seniors gained access to fresh local produce this summer

Kalamazoo County Project Fresh was a success this year.

Kalamazoo County, WIC families and seniors were provided free produce coupons and nutrition education this summer. The Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market, Senior Services INC. and Salvation Army hosted 800 program participants at their facilities and provided Project Fresh nutrition education. Michigan State University Extension recommends eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

Kalamazoo County, MSU Extension partnered with Family Health Center and Health and Community Services, WIC Programs also Kalamazoo Farmers Market to provide nutrition education and free produce coupons for WIC families which enabled participants to purchase Michigan grown fresh, fruits and vegetables at WIC authorized farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Participants were able to buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, but are especially encouraged to buy broccoli, carrots, potatoes, squash, peaches, apples and tomatoes. A variety of produce rich in vitamins A, C, and folic acid are emphasized. Current allowable herbs are: Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Lemon Grass, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Summer Savory, Sorrel, Tarragon and Thyme.

Kalamazoo, Senior Service INC. hosted Senior Project Fresh program and like the WIC Project Fresh Program this program improves nutrition for low income adults over age 60 by providing limited resource seniors with free produce coupons which can use at the farmers market.

The sites for this summer Project Fresh Programs were:

  • Kalamazoo County, Health and Human Services (HCS) WIC Program Kalamazoo Farmer Market, there were two separate Project Fresh Programs offered to WIC participants
  • Family Health Center, WIC Project Fresh Program was held twice in July at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market
  • Senior Project Fresh Program this summer was held for area senior participants at Senior Services INC., 918 Jasper St, Kalamazoo, MI.

For additional information for next year’s 2016 Project Fresh Program please contact your area WIC offices, Department of Health and Community Services or Area on Aging.

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