Coupon program helps seniors, families and farmers’ markets

Trivia Night

Persephone Brewing will host Trivia Night on May 11 to help raise money for the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program, which helps seniors and families in need access fresh, local, healthy food.

The program provides seniors and families with $15 worth of coupons each week to purchase fresh food from local farmers’ markets for a total of 16 weeks, starting this month.

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While the Ministry of Health provides funding for about 60 local seniors and families to access the program each year, local partners are seeking community support to extend the program to more people in need on the Coast.

Last year Coasters kicked in more than $1,500 to help an additional seven families access the coupons for the 16-week period.

The cost to attend Trivia Night is $15 and all of that money will go toward the program. Guests who would like to also enjoy a beverage at the event (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) can spend an extra $5 on their ticket to Trivia Night.

Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

“The Trivia Night is pretty low-key but it will provide a bit of information about what the coupon program is and the organizations that partner to deliver the coupons,” said Meghan Molnar, community dietitian with Vancouver Coastal Health.

Partners include Sunshine Coast Community Services, Sechelt Indian Band and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Coupons are handed out via drop-in programs like Bellies and Babies and StrongStart, Molnar said.

“I leave it up to the coordinators of those programs [because] they know their clients the best,” she said.

In addition to giving out coupons, participating partners also offer activities to build food knowledge and skills in areas like cooking, gardening and healthy eating.

Last year, partners on the Coast distributed $20,000 worth of coupons, which not only helped the coupon recipients, but also vendors at local farmers’ markets.

“It’s a win/win situation where a family gets $15 to go to the farmers’ market and buy $15 worth of vegetables from a farmer who will then get that $15. So it’s almost like giving $30 to a community,” Molnar said.

If you would like to donate to the program but can’t make it to the Trivia Night, Molnar said donations can be given through www.share-there.com, where tickets can also be purchased in advance.

Learn more about the program at www.bcfarmersmarket.org/nutrition-coupon-program

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