$1 mil for coupon program

The province is putting another $1 million in the kitty for an ongoing Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon program aimed at helping lower-income families and singles with their food bills.

Each week, program participants receive $15 worth of coupons that can be used at one of the 63 participating markets throughout B.C.

The coupons are used like cash to purchase locally grown fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and herbs.

"Making healthy food choices goes a long way to increasing quality of life and avoiding chronic illness," said Health Minister Terry Lake.

Lake said the program “makes it easier for those who need help to access and afford fresh foods, and supports them in making nutritious choices."

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna Lake Country, made a simultaneous announcement at the Kelowna Farmers Market, Saturday, amid a backdrop of local, Okanagan fruits, vegetables and produce.

The program is expected to support an estimated 10,000 people in 2016, according to a government press release. The province has put $5.75 million toward the program since 2012.

The coupon program runs for 16 weeks, from June through October, and is administered by the BC Association of Farmers' Markets.

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