The BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program has enabled lower-income pregnant women, families and seniors to purchase fruit, vegetables and other products at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. File photo

The BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program has enabled lower-income pregnant women, families and seniors to purchase fruit, vegetables and other products at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. File photo

Nutrition Coupon Program benefits Courtenay residents

Last year, the BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP) provided $27,405 to Courtenay. In turn, the Comox Valley Family Services Association Healthy Families Program provided coupons to lower-income pregnant women, and to families and seniors, to purchase fruit, vegetables and other products at the local market.

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns praised the program for strengthening food security. He’s calling on the federal government to offer matching funds to expand and promote the program.

On March 24 in Ottawa, Johns introduced Motion M-78, which directs government to initiate a national program to help provinces develop FMNCPs, and to match funding to programs that already exist. The idea is to kickstart food resilience and support farmers markets, which Johns said are important for the economy, for community health and for culture.

“Our 145 member markets are so grateful for MP Johns’ support on this request,” Vickey Brown, president of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, said in a news release. “Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon programs are unique and exemplary in that they promote food security for both participants and local Canadian farmers together.”