Use of a program that helps young families and low-income seniors buy local produce has nearly quadrupled this summer, farmers market officials report.

Use of a program that helps young families and low-income seniors buy local produce has nearly quadrupled this summer, farmers market officials report.

Lori Hopkinson, business manager of Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, estimates that 6,000 Farm Direct Nutrition Program coupons worth roughly $118,000 will be issued in Jackson County this season.

The coupons, which come in the form of printed checks to WIC enrollees and low-income seniors, only can be spent on locally produced, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Markets has four open-air markets a week in Ashland and Medford. For information, see www.rvgrowersmarket.com.