Over 23 thousand dollars was distributed in Smithers last year for the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon program that provides fresh, local food to low income residents.
The coupon program is done in partnership with the BV Farmers’ Market, Smithers Pregnancy Outreach Program and the Smithers Community Services Association. It’s geared towards low-income pregnant women, families and seniors giving out coupons to purchase fresh food at the farmers’ market.
Program Manager of the coupon program Peter Leblanc says although provincial funding has been generous, there’s still a waiting list.
“We have about 80 partners across the province – we took an informal pole – and 45 of them responded. They identified another 1,800 families…on their waiting list,” says Leblanc.
He says the funding will continue as is throughout 2017/18. The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets have been writing letters to municipalities asking them to write the Ministry of Health to make sure the funding continues.
“That 23 thousand dollars stays in the community in the pockets of local farmers supporting both the local economy and families that could use the support of some extra fruit and veg,” says Leblanc.
The program works with 54 communities across the province helping over 4,200 households and 9,400 British Columbians.