$2-million investment increases access to farm-fresh produce

Lower-income seniors and families will have increased access to local food products because of a grant to BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

SURREY – Lower-income seniors and families in communities throughout B.C. will have increased access to locally grown produce and food products as the result of a $2-million, one-time grant to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.

Funding supports the Farmers’ Market Nutrition and Coupon Program, which provides coupons each week for participants to spend at their local farmers’ market. Running for 14 weeks this year, the program is targeted at lower-income seniors and families, including pregnant women, who are participating in cooking and skill-building programs. These programs teach participants how to cook healthy, nutritious meals including using locally produced farm products.

Families will receive $15 worth of coupons each week, while seniors will receive $12 worth. Coupons are treated like cash and can be used to purchase a variety of B.C. food products including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, dairy and fresh cut herbs.

The program matches BC Association of Farmers’ Markets member farmers’ markets with one or more community agencies that operate a cooking and skill-building program. The program will support up to 50 families and pregnant women and up to 10 seniors per community. The intent is to expand the program to support more individuals and B.C. communities each year.

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is a provincially registered, non-profit association, which represents farmers’ markets throughout the province. At member markets, the focus is on selling locally grown or processed farm-fresh foods and vendors must either make, bake or grow the products they sell.

– Ministry of Health