It’s no secret that farmers’ markets are a great source of healthy, locally grown food for many British Columbians.
That’s why, to help more lower income British Columbians and expectant mothers access those markets, the provincial government is expanding the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program, it was announced today.
“Farmers’ markets support better nutrition, as well as local entrepreneurs and growers throughout B.C.,” said Health Minster Adrian Dix.
“On that note, our government is making the most significant provincial increase to the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program since it was introduced, to raise the value and number of coupons provided to people.”
Funding will increase by three-quarters of a million dollars
The BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program is delivered by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, and runs from June 11th to Oct. 31st, 2018 at participating farmers’ markets in 57 communities.
The program provides participants enrolled in nutrition and skills-building programs with coupons to help them purchase local food.
The total amount of the coupon will increase by nearly $100, from $240 per participant household to $336, provided in weekly instalments for four months.
The number of expectant mothers participating in the program will also increase by 450 by March 2020. The number of participating households is expected to rise from 3,708 to over 3,900.
Wylie Bystedt, president of BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and Cariboo rancher, says they’re excited with the announcement.
“We know there are significant benefits as a result of this program, ranging from improved population health to economic activity,” she says. “The program has increased and sustained the customer base for local and regional farmers, which in turn has allowed them to grow and diversify.”