A new coupon program announced in Surrey this week is aimed at helping low-income families and seniors across B.C. buy more fresh, locally grown food.
The Farmers’ Market Nutrition and Coupon Program will provide coupons each week for 14 weeks for participants to spend at local markets.
B.C. Health Minister Michael de Jong was at the Surrey Urban Farmers Market outside North Surrey Recreation Centre Wednesday to unveil the one-time, $2-million initiative, which he said will provide those in need greater access to the “freshest, tastiest produce grown anywhere in the world.”
Families will receive $15 worth of coupons weekly, while seniors will receive $12. Coupons are treated like cash and can be used to buy everything from fruit and vegetables, to fish and nuts.
About 800 families across B.C. are expected to qualify for the program this year and the intent is to expand the program in subsequent years.
Fifty families and pregnant women and up to 10 seniors will be helped per community. Participants will be referred by community agencies that operate cooking and skill-building programs.
There are 22 farmers’ markets participating in the coupon program, including Surrey Farmers’ Market, which operates every Wednesday from 1-6 p.m. at 10275 135 St.