Gardens and farms throughout the Hudson Valley are bursting with this year's crop of fruits and vegetables and you can find many of them on sale at farm stands across the Hudson Valley.

But for many who find themselves on a fixed income, it isn't always easy to afford the goodness that comes with fresh, locally grown produce. That's where the New York State Farmers' Market Nutrition program can help.

Qualifying seniors could be eligible for a one-time $20 benefit of New York State Farmers Market Checks. These checks, which are 5 checks worth 4 dollars each, can be spent at participating farmers markets throughout the state. All you have to look for is a sign stating that they accept the checks.

They are available now from your local Office of the Aging and can be used until November 30 for everything from berries, sweet corn, cucumbers, yellow squash, tomatoes, peppers, and more that you can find now at local farm stands. Plus, as apples become available, you can use these checks on those as well.

For more details, or to find out if you, or someone you know, is eligible call the state’s senior hotline at 1-800-342-9871 or the Dutchess County Office for the Aging at (845)486-2555.

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