Some N.E. Ohio seniors report they weren't given a fair chance at the Farmers' Market Program

Coupon distribution site changed without notice
Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 22:30:45-04

Some senior citizens at the Mayflower Condominiums in South Euclid believe they weren't given a fair chance at $50 in coupons for fruits and vegetables under the Ohio Farmers' Market Program.

The program allows seniors to use the coupons at more than a dozen area markets.

Riviann Joseph, who represents hundreds of seniors living in more than 300 Mayflower condo units, said the distribution location for their chance at the coupons was changed from South Euclid to the Salvation Army complex in East Cleveland without notice.

Joseph, who is the Mayflower Condo Association President, says by the time seniors were made aware of the change to East Cleveland, all of the coupons were gone.

"Seniors are being deprived, they're being neglected, they're being hurt," said Joseph. "They should never have given it to another district, it should have stayed right in this district. Because our senior citizens can't schlep all the way down to East Cleveland."

News 5 contacted the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging about the issue, and it admitted a mistake was made.

The agency said it shifted seniors in the southern section of South Euclid to East Cleveland to help with a lopsided distribution area, and said it would be contacting the Ohio Department on Aging to see if it could get additional coupons.

Sheryl Walter, who was trying to set-up the coupon distribution at Mayflower, said she hopes more coupons are on the way.

"It was a horrible disconnection," said Walter. "These people count on it, they count on it, and it's a big disappointment."