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Nationwide campaign for federal investment to grow food coupon program

By Caitlin Snow Oct 23, 2023 | 1:18 PM

Canadian Farmers Markets (CFM) have launched a nationwide campaign, asking the federal government to invest in expanding a national nutrition coupon program fund to meet growing demand and support Canadian farmers.

“This national campaign has been launched to request the Government of Canada to invest in a fund that will support and encourage and expand provincial farmers’ market nutrition coupon programs,” says Justin Cantafio, President of Canadian Farmers’ Markets and Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia. “These win-win programs are addressing food security with local, healthy food while directly supporting Canadian farmers, community-based farmers’ markets, and rural economies.”

The aim is to grow coupon programs across Canada.

Petitions have been collected at 68 farmers markets across the country, sent to 52 members of parliament, to be tabled in the House of Commons.

“Provincial farmers’ market nutrition coupon programs are successful with multiple impacts including strengthening food security, sustaining local farmers and foodlands, and providing nutritionally vulnerable households access to healthy locally grown foods,” says Heather O’Hara, CFM Director and Executive Director of BC Farmers’ Markets. “And 100% of coupon dollars redeemed in farmers’ market nutrition coupon programs directly benefit Canadian farmers and producers in local communities.”

CFM says demand for food security is soaring in Canada.  They believe that a federal farmers’ market coupon program fund will help meet the demand by encouraging provinces without a program, to get one, and to expand the programs that do exist.

Nova Scotia has a coupon program, as well as BC and Manitoba.