At Gordon Neighbourhood House, we are currently wrapping up our Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP for the year. This is an initiative to provide local, fresh produce to community members and support local growers in BC. The BC Association of Farmers Markets (BCAFM) collaborates with community organizations and is supported by the Province of BC & the Provincial Health Services Authority. Those who receive coupons are able to use it at any BCAFM member farmers’ markets that take part in FMNCP to purchase fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, nuts, dairy, fish, and herbs.
This year, Gordon Neighbourhood House was able to help support 53 West End residents, families and seniors with approximately $10,000 in coupons! We adapted to COVID-19 by pivoting coupon distribution through mail or staggered pick-ups. We also made sure to check in on our participants and sent online resources and program information throughout the season. We love that we are able to give our community access to and the ability to connect with our local food system. Especially during this difficult time, focusing on supporting smaller local businesses and growers is what empowers consumers and producers with healthy, nutritious food.
We wanted to share the impact that this program had on our community members with the following pictures and quotes from participants. Overall, we got amazing feedback and people were extremely grateful for this supportive initiative during a difficult and challenging year.
“We have enjoyed getting all the organic delicious fruit and vegetables as well as eggs and fish. My husband and I cook all of our meals and having all the produce from the market definitely kicks it up. We look forward to going to the market each week thanks to the coupon program.”
“I am beyond grateful to have access to the Farmers Market Coupon’s for 2020. With the crazy year that we are experiencing, everything seems to be so much more expensive! These coupons certainly do help, I enjoy being able to purchase fresh B.C. fruit and veggies.”
“Thanks again, we have really loved the market and made the most of this year despite the restrictions. And thanks also so much for the bonus grocery store gift cards. That was extremely helpful to our low-income household during this challenging time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts 😊💚”
We would like to share a warm thank you to everyone for their resilience and support, including our community and the BC Farmers Market Association.