MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Fresh produce picked at Ort Farms in Long Valley was packed in bags yesterday to distribute today to senior citizens through a farm-to-table, pilot program operating this summer under a partnership between the long-time family farm and the Morris County Nutrition Program.
The cooperative arrangement allows senior citizens to order produce that will be bagged at the farm and delivered to their housing complex.
Throughout the season, nearly 200 bags of produce are anticipated to be delivered to seniors living in six senior housing units, said Christine Hellyer, director of the Morris County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming.
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a federally-funded program that provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods such as fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. In Morris County, the program is administered through the Morris County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming’s nutrition project.
The Morris County Nutrition Program provides seniors who meet certain income qualifications with hot nutritious meals, education, and even opportunities for personal interaction through three program components: Congregate Meals, Home Delivered Meals, and Weekend Meals. The program served 388,358 meals in 2020. For more information and income guidelines to qualify, visit the county’s nutrition program website.
Now in its sixth generation, Ort Farms is 400-acre farm currently run by three generations of the Ort family. The farm operates through all four our seasons, offering home-grown produce and other goods at their market stand, as well as recreational activities for visitors.