March 31st, 2021
MP Gord Johns Advocates for Federal Partnership in Farmer’s Market Nutrition Coupon Program
Port Alberni – Member of Parliament Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) is calling on the federal government to act as a partner with the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP) and offer matching funding to expand and promote the program.
The FMNCP is a healthy-eating initiative that supports farmers’ markets and strengthens food security in local communities. Partner organizations provide coupons to lower-income families, pregnant people, and seniors. The coupons can be spent at participating farmers markets on vegetables, fruits, fish, and other items. The FMNCP partners with the BC Ministry of Health to serve over 79 communities and reaches over 5000 households in BC.
On March 24th, Johns introduced Motion M-78, which directs the government to initiate a national program to assist provinces in developing FMNCPs and to match funding to FMNCPs that already exist.
“The success so far of the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program has shown how communities can help low-income families, pregnant women, and seniors,” said Johns. “With the federal government as a partner, we can do our part to expand the amount of assistance people receive and who can get that help.”
According to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, coupons provide direct income for local farmers at farmers’ markets, improve access to locally grown healthy foods, and promote healthy eating and social connections for participants.
“Our 145 member markets are so grateful for MP Johns' support on this request,” said Vickey Brown, President of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. “Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Programs are unique and exemplary in that they promote food security for both participants and local Canadian farmers together.”
"This is our 10th season experiencing the incredible impacts of the BC Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon Program on participants and community partners, farmers' markets and farmers across our province. We enthusiastically welcome federal investment to seed and further grow this program across Canada for the benefit of Canadians everywhere,” added Heather O’Hara, Executive Director of the organization.
Johns is encouraging Canadians to support this initiative by signing a non-partisan petition, which can be found on the House of Commons website.