Farmers’ markets are an important way of connecting Columbia Basin residents with the products of local farmers. Columbia Basin Trust is increasing access to fresh, healthy food by providing even more funding to the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program run by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM).

The Trust began supporting the existing provincial program in 2018. After a first successful year, it’s now committing more funding to the program: $420,000 over three years. This will enable the program to eliminate wait lists and add two new Basin communities. Each year the program will serve approximately 325 people through 16 farmers’ markets operating in 14 communities in the region.

“We’ve been very pleased with this program’s impacts, which is why we’ve decided to give it even longer-term support,” said Will Nixon, Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust. “In addition to helping make sure that Basin residents receive the healthy food they need, this program helps us deliver on our strategic priority to foster agricultural production in the region.”

The program provides coupons to lower-income families, seniors and pregnant women participating in food literacy programs delivered by eligible community partners. Recipients receive coupons valued at $21 each week for 16 weeks. They use these at participating BCAFM member farmers’ markets to purchase vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, dairy products, cut herbs, meat and fish directly from Basin farmers, supporting the local economy.

“Columbia Basin Trust is an incredible partner of ours, supporting Basin residents, farmers and farmers’ markets, increasing access to healthy, fresh food, while boosting the local economy all at the same time,” said Heather O’Hara, Executive Director, BCAFM. “This new contribution will sustain and expand the reach of this amazing program in the region for years to come.”

This year’s program starts in June. The communities returning this year are Cranbrook, Creston, Elkford, Fernie, Kaslo, Kimberley, Nakusp, Nelson, Revelstoke, Rossland, Trail and Windermere. Joining the program this year are New Denver and Valemount. To become program participants, Basin residents should contact a local eligible community organization that partners with the program. To learn more, visit bcfarmersmarket.org/coupon-program/about-program.

For more on weekly local markets visit fernie.com/events

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets promotes, develops and strengthens 145+ farmers’ markets across the province so they can better support local farmers, food processors and artisans, and provide British Columbians with fresh, healthy, local food. Learn more at bcfarmersmarket.org.

The Trust fosters agricultural production in the region and works to make sure residents have access to healthy food. Learn more about its efforts in agriculture, as well as in improving the economic and social well-being of residents, at ourtrust.org/our-work.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

Photo: Nelson’s Cottonwood Community Market. Photo credit: Adrian Wagner.

Leave a comment

Related Stories

Fernie Network Blogs

Locals Report
Locals Report

A locals update on snow, trails, powder and more.

Read More
Fernie Bike Events
Fernie Bike Events

Fernie's destination biking events organized locally.

Read More
Mary Giuliano
Mary Giuliano

Mary writes about the town she has loved since moving here in May of 1953.

Read More
Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie Alpine Resort

Fernie Alpine Resort offers world-class winter and summer activities.

Read More
Backcountry Powder
Backcountry Powder

Fernie's backcountry is where the powder lasts for weeks whether you're touring or riding!

Read More
Elk River Alliance
Elk River Alliance

A community-based water group protecting the Elk River watershed.

Read More
Wildsight
Wildsight

Working to protect wildlife, water and wild spaces.

Read More
Fernie Chamber
Fernie Chamber

A service organization dedicated to enhancing the economic future of Fernie and the quality of life.

Read More
Council Connection
Council Connection

Fernie Council Meeting updates and news is available here in the latest edition of Council Connection.

Read More
Regional District of East Kootenay
Regional District of East Kootenay

Local rural area government dedicated to providing quality service to residents and property owners.

Read More
Off Camber in Fernie
Off Camber in Fernie

Keith Liggett follows the goings and comings in Fernie—in town and on the hill—but not in the normal fall line.

Read More
Fernie Ski & Board Fim Fest
Fernie Ski & Board Fim Fest

Hundreds of skiers and boarders celebrate the coming season with the seasons top ski and board films.

Read More
Fernie Ghostriders
Fernie Ghostriders

Fernie's Junior B Hockey Club, a proud member of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

Read More
Fernie Whitewater Park
Fernie Whitewater Park

The Fernie Whitewater Park Society is working towards building a surf wave in the City of Fernie.

Read More