EODD providing mobile Farmers Market – Muskogee Daily Phoenix

Mostly clear. Low 64F. Winds light and variable..
Mostly clear. Low 64F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: September 8, 2022 @ 5:39 pm

Senior citizens in the outer areas of Muskogee County have access to fresh produce.
The Eastern Oklahoma Development District (EODD) Area Agency on Aging is working with the Oklahoma State University Extension Office to provide a mobile farmers market to the rural areas of the county.
Area Agency on Aging Director Stacy Turner said the program has been up and running since June.
“One of our largest grants is for senior nutrition,” she said, “One of my great goals would be if we had a big mobile truck that would go around like an ice cream truck that could take fresh produce in the neighborhood, but we don’t have the funds for that. This was kind of connections through the City of Muskogee Foundation who put us in contact with Lacey Wallace at OSU Extension’s High Obesity Program (HOP).
“We began to exchange ideas one day and (Wallace) said, ‘We already do this mobile market through Head Start,’ and said we’d like to flip that over to the other end of the age block and do it for seniors.”
EODD obtains the food through OSU Extension Service who contracts with Healthy Oklahomans for Nutrition Alliance (HOVA) for distribution. Recipients have to register and be approved in order to be put on the list.
“People call here for the next market that goes through their town, and we chose to go outside the bigger cities like Muskogee that have a market in their town,” Turner said. “They have to call here and register so we have an idea on how many people we are expecting up to a limited number we’ve already chosen. Then we can, through Lacey, let HONA know and they purchase the produce and bring it to the market.”
Turner said registrants have to be 60 years old and up and live in the community where the market is set up. EODD also records some basic demographic information, which is required for obtaining the federal money that assists in the program.
“When the people arrive at the market, they check in and one of our workers gives them what we call ‘market bucks’ and that’s a $3 value per market buck and we give them $15 in value,” she said. “Then one of the other team members from OSU Extension, or some of the other partners, will help that senior shop throughout the market and help them get the best deals.”
Taylor also said if there’s produce left after the registrants have completed their shopping, then anybody can stop by and purchase produce. She also said that they try to accommodate new registrants first.
“For example, we’ve done Haskell and Boynton for the third time now,” she said. “When new people have called in and registered, we want to make sure that they get on the list before people that have been there already.”
Taylor said the mobile market will run until the end of this month, but it will pick back up next March.
If you would like to register, are 60 years old and up and live in the outer areas of Muskogee County, call EODD at (918) 682-7891 and let them know you would like to sign up for the next mobile market.

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