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Seniors enjoy Alabama-grown produce through Elderly Nutrition Program

Seniors across the state are enjoying fresh, Alabama-grown satsuma oranges through the Elderly Nutrition Program.

via Alabama Department of Senior Services

Seniors across the state are enjoying fresh, Alabama-grown satsuma oranges through the Elderly Nutrition Program (ENP) thanks to the Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS), state farmers, and TRIO Community Meals.

ADSS is responsible for nearly 20,000 meals served each weekday to seniors who participate in the ENP. Working with its food contractor, TRIO Community Meals, ADSS has sought to improve the quality and freshness of the food for Alabama seniors, said ADSS Commissioner Jean Brown.

“There are so many benefits to serving locally grown food — most obvious is the improved freshness and taste,” Brown said. “In addition, serving locally grown food benefits our local farmers and supports Alabama’s strong economy. Our seniors have thoroughly enjoyed satsumas as part of their meals, which were served at more than 330 senior centers throughout our state. For many ENP participants, this was their first time to enjoy Alabama-grown citrus.”

Satsumas are a type of seedless mandarin orange with an easy-to-peel skin. They are sometimes called satsuma mandarins or satsuma tangerines. In Alabama, most satsumas are grown along the Gulf Coast; however, there are smaller groves in central Alabama. The fruit is typically harvested November through December.

“We were excited to add satsumas to the menu for Alabama seniors while the fruit is at its peak freshness,” said TRIO State Manager Bill Sallustro. “Anything we can do to serve Alabama seniors and support our state’s farmers is a passion of mine. Satsumas will stay on the menu every other week at least through the end of December, depending on availability.”

Sallustro said he plans to search out other fresh, Alabama-grown fruits and vegetables that can be incorporated into the meals TRIO prepares for Alabama seniors.

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