The B.C. Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program had a good 2019 year in Clearwater, with more than $10,000 invested into the community as a result.
The program, which is a partnership between Yellowhead Community Services (YCS), Clearwater Farmers’ Market, Wells Gray County Seniors Society (WGCSS), and funded by the Ministry of Health, offers $21 worth of coupons to low-income families with children, as well as to pregnant women, and seniors each week.
The coupons can then be spent at the market on items like fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, and herbs.
“The latest news from the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets is that the program will continue to be offered this year, although there may be some modifications in how the coupons are delivered to clients,” said Joanna Hurst, coordinator for the YCS Food Security Program, adding when YCS is able to provide additional funding, it can sometimes expand the criteria to include persons with disabilities and low-income individuals, which it was able to do in 2017 and 2018.
“We typically offer the program first to families who are already accessing YCS services and to seniors who are identified by the WGCSS network coordinator.”
Hurst added last year the program was able to fully support 30 households and partially support six more. YCS was also able to provide a few recipients with transportation to the market with additional grants.
Interested individuals who meet the criteria can contact Hurst to be put on a waiting list, but she noted spaces fill up quickly and YCS doesn’t know yet how many families it will be able to support this year.
Hurst can be contacted at 250-674-3530 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The people who receive these coupons tell us all the time how much they appreciate the program — how their health improves, how their kids love the vegetables and how much they enjoy shopping at the Farmers Market.”