For Immediate Release: Canada Wide Campaign Calls for National Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program Investment
October 23, 2023
Canadian Farmers’ Markets (CFM), Canada’s national farmers’ market sector association, has launched a nationwide campaign asking the Government of Canada to invest in a national nutrition coupon program fund that will strengthen and grow existing and proposed provincial and territorial farmers’ markets nutrition coupon programs across Canada. Petitions have been collected at 68 farmers’ markets across the country so far in 52 unique federal ridings. These petitions have been sent to 52 Canadian Members of Parliament, which will then be tabled in the House of Commons of Canada..
“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.”
Canada’s food insecurity rates continue to rise to alarming rates. In 2022 a staggering 18.5% of all Canadians experienced food insecurity, up from nearly 16% in 2021. Since 2012, the British Columbia Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program has increased access to healthy, nutritious food at farmers’ markets while directly supporting BC farmers and supporting food security across the province. Other provinces including Nova Scotia (since 2019) and Manitoba (since 2020) and their provincial farmers’ market organisations have also implemented highly successful programs.
“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.”
Demand for food security measures is soaring in Canada. CFM believes that a federal farmers’ market nutrition coupon program fund will assist in meeting this demand by encouraging provinces without a farmers’ market nutrition coupon program to create one and supporting those provinces with existing programs to expand theirs to meet growing demand.
For more information or to request an interview, contact:
President, Canadian Farmers’ Markets
Executive Director, Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia
+1 902 293 3847
Director, Canadian Farmers’ Markets
Directeur général, Association des marchés publics du Québec
+1 514 554 9553
About Canadian Farmers’ Markets:
Founded in 2020, Canadian Farmers’ Markets is a non-profit organisation and Canada’s national farmers’ market sector association. We are a coalition of farmers’ market associations from coast to coast, building and strengthening local food systems across Canada. We serve as the unified, nationally represented coalition of farmers’ market sector voices which support thriving local food systems and the economic, social, and cultural prosperity of their individual communities across our country.
Our current members are:
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