Lower-income families, seniors and pregnant women access local farms’ bounty thanks to the Farmers’ Market Coupon Program. Photo Allan Forest
The program is really a win-win, for both local producers and local families.” ~ Jon Bell ~ President, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets
The Farmers’ Market Coupon Program, which provides lower-income families, pregnant women and seniors with coupons for locally produced food is receiving an additional $2 million investment, Health Minister Terry Lake announced recently.
The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program, administered by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, runs from July through October 2013 and offers $15 worth of coupons each week to individuals and families enrolled in the nutrition and skills building programs offered by participating community agencies. Coupons are treated like cash at the participating markets and can be used to purchase a variety of locally-produced foods including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy and herbs.
“Here in BC, we are fortunate to have access to diverse, vibrant farmers’ markets, which provide a wide variety of healthy, local foods,” said Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm. “This program helps us to supwport those local markets and farmers, while also improving access to local, fresh food for low-income families.”
Jon Bell, president, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets noted “the program is really a win-win, for both local producers and local families.”
The program is expected to support about 1,300 families and 400 seniors in 2013 and will continue to expand. The $2 million in funding provided through the Provincial Health Services Authority in 2013 builds on an initial $2 million investment in 2012.