Everything you need to know about the Coupon Program 🤝🏼
Vancouver Farmers Market is excited to be a community partner working with the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program (BCFMNCP), for it bridges community groups and farmers creating a circular economy that favours all.
We are here to facilitate the exchange between vendors and coupon recipients 😊
🎟 What is the Coupon Program?
This is a governmental effort to increase the consumption of fresh local produce, as well as make our community markets more accessible for everyone. The efforts and resources come from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, and private donations.
This is an amazing opportunity to support our farmers, because it ensures that the money is being spend on our farmers, and in turn we ensure vulnerable groups get to nourish themselves with fresh produce and nutritious foods grown locally!
It not only provides support to fresh local produce, but it increases food literacy, increases a sense of community by tying normally marginalized groups into meaningful connections in the markets, addresses food security directly, strengthens our local economy, empowers local growers, and exposes people who do not regularly attend markets to make new friends and have some fun!
👩🏽🤝👨🏾 How can I enrol to be a recipient of these coupons?
There are organizations that have partnered with this program to distribute coupons and enrol members of their communities, called Partner. The best way to enrol would be to find a community Partner that is closest to you. You can find a list of the eligible 2022 partners here.
The VFM has no power to issue coupons, we are just intermediaries. Please contact your community Partner to inquiry for more information.
🙌🏾 How it works
Registered individuals get $27 worth of coupons each week, and they get to spend them on particular eligible items, out of vendors from eligible farmers markets. In turn, farmers get reimbursed the amount stated on the coupons with funds from the BC Association of Farmers Markets.
Here’s a short video about it:
One important thing about the program is the type of items you can purchase with your coupons. Here’s the list:
✅ Eligible items
This year they have added honey to the list, and we are all excited for that addition!
- Fresh vegetables
- Food plants
- Meats + seafood
❎ Examples of non-eligible items
- Prepared foods (even when they contain some of the eligible items)
- Dried/preserved fruits and vegetables
- Baked goods
You can check the coupon guidelines here for more info.
Have more questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you asap.
In the meantime, check this FAQ below with the most common questions we are getting from you guys.
What are the program dates?
The program starts started on June 4th, and it will run for 28 weeks until December 18th, 2022. You have 28 full weeks to redeem the value of your coupons.
Note: some markets run longer than December 18th, but that does not entail you can redeem your coupons. The program runs strictly on those dates, without exceptions. Conversely, there are markets that close before that. In that case, you can find another market around your area that takes coupons so you can make use of them.
Who is eligible to get coupons?
Because community Partners are experts on knowing their community, the BC Association of Farmers Markets has given them the freedom to cater the program towards their participant’s needs. That is, some communities have larger numbers of seniors, some of them a big number of refugees, others of pregnant woman and some others of low-income families.
This is amazing, because they get to serve their community where the community needs it the most!
Where can I redeem/ use my coupons?
Coupons can be used at any market that is part of the BC Association of Farmers Markets. You can find the complete list of markets here.
I tried purchasing at one of the stalls, but the vendor will not take my coupons. What do I do?
This is strictly against the program policy, and it is not permissible! Please go to your info booth and talk to any person on a yellow vest and you will be kindly assisted.
What if the amount I want to spend on an item is less than the coupon? Will I get that money back?
Vendors are not allowed to give back change – this is against the program guidelines. So please be sure to use every penny you have within that coupon!
What is the actual impact of this program on our communities?
The BCAFM has made an amazing job in tracking the performance of this program. You can find the 2021 report here. This program has proved to contribute so many vulnerable communities
🌱Are you a Partner wanting to get more information, resources and tools to contribute more to your community? Here’s a link where you can find everything you are looking for.