This Christmas season, thanks to private donations, some needy people will be able to shop for fresh, local food at the Shuswap Farm and Craft Market.
The program is an off-shoot of a partnership between the market and the Shuswap Family Resource Centre that ran from June to October. As part of that program, coupons were distributed to low-income seniors and families in Salmon Arm, enabling them to purchase local fruit, vegetables and meat at the farmer’s market.
“We have seen how these coupons have made a significant difference for families and seniors,” says Susan Washington with the Shuswap Farm and Craft Market, who notes there was a wait list for the program.
In summer the program, which has had its funding continued for next year, offers 45 participants a total of $15 per week in coupons.
Seeing the need, limited private funding was found to support the coupon program to continue in the winter for five participants.
In addition to the purchase of the food, participants work with the resource centre to learn about nutrition, cooking and preserving their purchases to get the best use out of the products.
“This program not only benefits the people, who are getting access to fresh, local, healthy food, but it also benefits the local farmers by supporting their operations,” says Washington.
“It’s a real circle that has benefits for the whole community.”
The group is now hoping to expand its funding so it can help more families, seniors and other individuals.
“If we get donations, we could help more people in winter and in summer,” says Washington.
To support the program, or for more information, contact Ebony Vardal at the Shuswap Family Resource and Referral Society at 250-832-2170 ex. 209 or by emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.