Rea Bobula, 77, of Jamestown loves to have fresh fruits and vegetables in her apartment.

"Grapes. Grapes are very expensive and I love green grapes,” said Bobula.

Like many seniors on a fixed income, she's hesitant to buy them when she goes to the grocery store.

"And lots of times I don't buy them because of the price, but I have this all summer long. So, it's easier to eat the foods you're supposed to be eating,” said Bobula.

What You Need To Know

  • Chautauqua County Office of Aging Services rolls put another veggie pilot program

  • Part of the program includes Senior receiving produce free of charge

  • Part of the program also incudes passing out containers where senior can plan their own

To supplement what she gets at the store, Bobula grabs her produce bag and heads to Fluvanna Community Church once a week to Chautauqua County's Office for Aging Services Local Roots Program.

"We set it up like a little farmer's market. They come through the line. We encourage everyone to take every item, whether they've had it before or not, like it or not. We ask them to at least try it,” said Lacey Wilson, Chautauqua County OFA’s nutrition and wellness coordinator.

Wilson coordinates the pilot program aimed at reducing and eliminating barriers, like cost or transportation for seniors who can't otherwise access fresh produce, working with local growers to promote agri-business and improving senior socialization.

A number of smaller sites, like the church, have been set up as part of the program, which has served more than 300 seniors.

"It's a duty on behalf of all of us that we give back to our community. Specifically for our older adults, that we serve those who've served us for so many years, as we grew up in this community,” said Wilson.

Wilson says the office also provides at-home container garden kits, where seniors can grow their own herbs.

"We worked with our local housing units to distribute as pods, basically at the different units,” said Wilson.

"I have regular chives, garlic onion chive, hot and spicy oregano. Parsley,” said Donna Bush of Jamestown.

Bush lives at Covenant Manor in Jamestown and takes care of several herbs in her container garden out on the deck.

"This is totally awesome, that we're given these plants,” said Bush.

Plants too expensive to buy she says, that help keep her busy.

"It gives me something to do with my time each day. To be able to be outside in the fresh air, you know gives you a sense of enjoyment and you can add herbs to your cooking,” said Bush.

Bobula met up with Lacey at the church to get her produce, which included beets, sweet peppers and concord grapes.

"I'm really grateful for it because we get to have the fruit and veggies that sometimes we don't get to buy. And it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, it's still very helpful,” said Bobula.

While the program has since wrapped for the season, it's set to return next summer.