B.C. is continuing its Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon program for another year.
First launched in 2021, with $3 million over three years, the coupon program helps lower-income people and families, including seniors, “access fresh and nutritious foods from local farmers’ markets,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix in a news release Saturday (June 17).
“The program not only improves nutrition and prevents chronic disease, but also strengthens community connections and reduces social isolation.”
The BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program is a healthy-eating program that supports farmers’ markets and is aimed at strengthening food security throughout British Columbia. This year, the program is operating in about 85 communities across B.C.
In 2021, the program helped 1,982 seniors. It more than doubled in 2022 to help 4,091 seniors. In 2022, the program also helped 10,152 households, up from 6,684 in 2021.
Wylie Bystedt, chair of the BC Association of Farmers Markets, said the program both supports the community and invests in farmers.
“Our farmers are growing fresh food, which feed families, elders and pregnant people all across the province. Farmers’ markets are a joy-filled place.”
The program was first launched as part of the $12 million in 2021-22 year-end funding, with $3 million to help increase the number of seniors participating in the program over three years. That’s $1 million each year.
Now in its second year of funding, the program is at capacity.