Here is the information on the Senior Farmers Market Coupon program.

DESCRIPTION:  This is a national program that Marcy Kaptur actually created from her position as member of the Agriculture Subcommittee of House Appropriations.  The program is a win-win for senior citizens and local farmers, providing seniors with coupons they can exchange at farmers markets for fresh fruits and vegetables, and likewise creating for farmers and growers additional demand for locally-grown products.

BACKGROUND:  Congresswoman Kaptur has fought the Administration tooth and nail to keep the Senior Farmers Market Coupon program alive, but she is committed to it, and it has been expanded as a result of the recent bipartisan five-year federal farm bill.

DIMENSIONS:  Until now, the program has been concentrated in Congresswoman Kaptur's district (precisely put, the 10-county Area Office on Aging, which includes Lucas, Ottawa and Erie counties, but not Lorain). The new farm bill expands the program's reach into other parts of the state.

NUMBERS:  In the eight years in which the program has operated, an estimated 140,000 applications for coupons have been approved (17,500 people per year on average; I can't say 140,000 "people" over the eight-year history of the program because obviously many of the coupon recipients year to year are the same people).

IMPACT OF THE NUMBERS:  Approximately $9 million worth of coupons have been distributed since 2001.  Almost all that money is circulated within the local economy as it moves from seniors to local farmers and throughout the community.

THIS YEAR'S NUMBERS TO DATE:  To date this year, 20,628 seniors have received coupons totaling $1,103,934 through the Area Office on Aging.