During the Summer months, many people flock to the Farmers’ Market in Prince George to buy fresh locally grown foods.
Now, the B.C. Government is recognizing a need for affordable and healthy food options as it invested one million dollars towards the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon program. Agriculture Minister, Norm Letnick made the announcement Saturday in an effort to help lower-income families, seniors, and pregnant women continue to have access to healthy foods.
For 16 weeks, from June to October, program participants receive 15 dollars worth of coupons that can be used at 63 participating markets across the province, including in Prince George. The coupons are used like cash to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy products.
President of the Prince George Farmers’ Market Association, Phil Myatovic, says increased funding to the coupon program encourages more people to shop local and purchase healthier foods. “Primary foods are being accessed by people rather than foods that have been processed which historically have been lesser in quality and nutrition so we’re having wholesome foods brought in here by the farmers for the customers to access and buy.”
The coupon program is expected to support an estimated 10 thousand British Columbians in 2016. Including the one million dollars in funding, the province has made 5.75 million dollars available to support this program since 2012.