Victoria/Fraser Valley – The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets has expanded the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon program to help more lower income households access fresh, locally-grown, healthy food.

The Province provided the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets with three-quarters of a million dollars last year to increase the coupon program budget. This increase contributed to helping the association raise the value of coupons by nearly $100, from $240 per participant household per season, to $336 provided in weekly coupons for four months. The funding increase also went toward increasing the number of expectant mothers participating in the program by 450. This year, the Province is providing the association additional funding of $121,000 to follow through on a plan to expand the program to another 250 households representing approximately 700 individuals. This is in addition to the $1.475 million the program has already received from the province for its 2019 coupon program. Last season, the weekly coupon program benefited more than 3,900 households, representing approximately 11,000 individuals.

This year, the program will run from June 11, to November 3, at participating farmers’ markets in 76 communities. They include Abbotsford Langley and Mission.

It provides families, pregnant women and seniors who are already connected to community agencies that offer nutrition and skills-building programs and supports, with coupons to help them buy local food, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, dairy, herbs, meat and fish.

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is a provincially registered, non-profit society that represents more than 145 farmers’ markets throughout the province. At member markets, the focus is on selling B.C.-grown or processed farm-fresh foods. Vendors must make, bake or grow the products they sell.

Links:

For a list of all participating famers’ markets for the 2019 season, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Farmers_Markets.pdf

For more information on the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program or to locate a farmers’ market in your community, visit: www.bcfarmersmarket.org

Courtesy Councilor Dave Loewen

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