Thirty five CCC families (42 parents and 34 children) had a fun and fruitful Saturday morning on October 17th at the Trout Lake Farmers' Market. Each family received $75 in special coupons to buy locally grown food. They left the market with bags full of fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, fish, and meat. It was wonderful to see so many happy faces and to hear comments such as "This reminds me of home. We did not know that there are markets like this here in Vancouver". These nice memories and feelings of familiarity and belonging are precious for everyone, especially for refugee families. Some participants were surprised to discover that there is a real lake in Vancouver and said that they would visit Trout Lake again. This trip was organized after our first successful visit to the Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market's Fall Fair. On a sunny Sunday morning on October 4th twenty three CCC families (30 parents and 33 children) came to the Fall Fair where children enjoyed a pumpkin patch, wheel of fortune, face painting and other fall activities while parents were buying fresh farm products.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program is an initiative of the BC Association of Farmers Markets in partnership with farmers' markets and community skill building associations. The program is supported by Healthy Families BC. Thanks to the generous funding received from Whole Foods Market, Circles of Care and Connection and two other Vancouver programs have been able to give coupons to their families with young children this fall. The Fresh to Families project will continue in 2016, and the partnership between Vancouver Farmers Markets, MPFC - Circles of Care and Connection, MOSAIC, VCH Healthiest Babies Possible Program and Public Health Dietitians, has the goal to secure funding to expand the current number of families receiving the nutrition coupons in Vancouver. While supporting local farming (every dollar spent goes back to farmers), the Coupon Program enables lower-income BC families to purchase locally grown, fresh food.