For the past several years, Nanaimo Foodshare has run the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program (BCFMNCP) for low-income families and seniors in partnership with the Island Roots Market at Beban Park. This is a 16-week program that offers eligible participants weekly coupons with a cash value of $21, to be spent at the market on fresh produce, meat, eggs, and dairy products. It runs from June until October every year.
To be eligible to access the program, participants must be:
- Seniors, have children under 19 at home, or be pregnant;
- Identify as low-income; and
- Demonstrate a connection to a food skills program.
All participants who are not connected to existing food skills programming must attend a food skills class. To support participants in meeting this requirement, Foodshare will deliver food skills classes, at no cost to participants, beginning in February and running until the BCFMNCP is underway. Our hope is that interested parties will attend a class in advance of the coupon program commencing. This is the best way for interested parties to ensure enrolment in the coupon program.
Classes are approximately two hours long and will cover a variety of topics that may include canning and preserving, meal planning, and tips for cooking on a budget.
Attendees must register in advance for this class. Please email or phone Foodshare to reserve a spot in this class. Space is limited and participants will be registered on a first come, first served basis.
- Feb 26 (3 pm-5 pm) – Mediterranean: Hummus, tzatziki, skordalia, and more!
- Mar 4 (3 pm-5 pm) – Making More from Meals: Cooking whole chicken and using leftovers well
- Mar 11 (11:30 am-1:30 pm) – Super Salads: Experiment with toppings, dressings, and design
- Mar 29 (2 pm-4 pm) – Ferments: Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sourdough
- Apr 8 (11:30 am-1:30 pm) – Eating for Diabetes
- Apr 16 (6:30 pm-8:30 pm) – Bulk Meals Series: Lasagna
- Apr 26 (2 pm-4 pm) – Bulk Meals Series: Frozen dough, many ways
- May 13 (11:30 am-1:30 pm) – Boost Nutrition with Kids
- May 28 (6:30 pm-8:30 pm) – Bulk Cooking Series: Soups, many ways
Applications for the BCFMNCP program open in May. In the event that there are more applications than there are spots in the Nutrition Coupon program, preference will be given to first-time participants who can demonstrate that they have completed the food skills requirement.
If this isn’t a fit for you, you may still =be interested in other programs we are running, including the Good Food Box, which runs year round and offers fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. Please contact us for more information.