Local farmers markets help those in need

The Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program, which runs until October 2013, offers $15 worth of coupons each week

A program that provides lower-income families, pregnant  women and seniors with coupons for locally produced food is receiving an  additional $2 million investment across B.C.

The Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program, which runs until October 2013, offers $15 worth of coupons each week to individuals and families enrolled in  the nutrition and skills building programs offered by community agencies  associated with each participating market.

“We know that having access to healthy, fresh foods makes a huge difference in  health,” said Terry Lake, health minister.

“Unfortunately, for some British Columbians, it can be hard  to access these nutritious necessities. This program will help us improve the  health of B.C. families by offering improved access to locally produced food for  those most in need.”

Among the participants are the Armstrong Farmers Market and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, and the Vernon Farmers Market and the First Nations Friendship Centre’s prenatal nutrition program.

“This program had great success last year, and we are thrilled that it is  expanding this year, with additional markets and communities participating,” said Jon Bell, president of the B.C. Association of Farmers Markets.

“The program is  really a win-win, for both local producers and local families.”