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Okanagan family thankful for $15 farmers’ market coupons

Low-income families have the chance to buy local, fresh produce with the help of provincial coupons.

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Since 2012, the Government of British Columbia has been working with partner agencies and families in need to offer coupons that can be redeemed at local farmers' markets.

Aislinn O’Grady has been part of the coupon project in Kelowna for the past three years.

"With the coupons, it makes buying the local, sometimes organic produce, fruits and veggies, and dairy products available to our family."

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O’Grady is part of a nine-person household that gets by on just one individual income. She said this program allows her children to have a wider variety of food in their diet.

On Aug. 6, it was announced in Kelowna that the government would be putting $1 million towards the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program.

"British Columbia can be very proud of the world class produce we grow and farmers' markets are a great way for producers to share their high quality product with their communities," said Letnick.

"The Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon program is a great way to help people get home grown B.C. produce while developing a strong, sustainable agricultural sector."

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British Columbia is the only province in Canada to offer a program like this. Every year 40 families in Kelowna are approved into the program. They receive $15 worth of coupons every week. The coupons can go towards locally grown fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and herbs.

The program is expected to help around 10,000 people this year eat fresh, locally grown foods.

"We are grateful for the Ministry of Health's continued investment in building healthy communities across the province. Through their investment, we see communities having success in healthy initiatives and flourishing farmers' markets," said Wylie Bystedt, president, BC Association of Farmers' Markets.

The program runs for 16 weeks, from June through until October. This year the entire program was full within the first week.









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