Free produce vouchers help fight food insecurity for low-income seniors

Hadas Kuznits
July 11, 2018 - 2:51 pm
Low-income senior citizens stood in long lines at Reading Terminal Market for free produce vouchers, highlighting the sheer number of Philadelphians who suffer from food insecurity.

Hadas Kuznits | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Low-income senior citizens stood in long lines at Reading Terminal Market for free produce vouchers, highlighting the sheer number of Philadelphians who suffer from food insecurity.

The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging set up a distribution point for vouchers, which were valid for just $20 worth of produce for income-eligible seniors.

But public relations manager Marsha Siegal pointed out that small amount didn't stop people from coming early to wait in long lines.

"We've had people who will take three busses on a hot day to get to PCA, which distributes the vouchers weekdays while supplies last," she said. "There are a lot of places in Philadelphia that are food deserts where there's not easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables, so this helps them access fresh fruits and vegetables."

The $20 produce vouchers are only offered to recipients once a year. Recipient Thelma Waters said a little bit of help is better than no help at all.

"A little bit goes a long way because I usually spend like $5 and then I'll hold the rest, and it takes you up to November," she said.

There are restrictions on how recipients can spend their vouchers.

"There are certain fruits that you can buy and certain fruits that you can't, like you can't get bananas, you can't get strawberries," she added. "[But] this is really a blessing to receive this."

For more information, call the PCA help line for vouchers at 215-765-9040.