Manitoba Farmers’ Market Coupon Program

What are we doing?

The Manitoba Farmers’ Market Coupon Program is a community building initiative that empowers members of our

community who frequently experience barriers to accessing healthy whole food by providing them with access to

coupons to purchase food directly from participating farmers’ markets across Manitoba. Together Direct Farm

Manitoba, market coordinators, and community partner organizations promote food literacy and food security by

making local, seasonal food more accessible to participants.

The Manitoba Farmers’ Market Coupon Program is modeled after the highly successful British Columbia

Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) Coupon Nutrition Program, which has been running for over a decade.

Recently, Nova Scotia has also begun their own ‘market bucks’ coupon program.

 

How does it work?

Participating farmers’ markets engage with health and social service organizations within their community who are

already connected with people who would benefit from better access to healthy whole foods. These community

partner organizations select individuals and families who would benefit from increased food security and

decreased social isolation. Direct Farm Manitoba provides small denomination food coupons to their community

partners who pass them on to participants, who can use the coupons to purchase food at their local farmers’

markets. Markets are reimbursed by Direct Farm Manitoba through program funding. Care and attention will be

paid to how coupons are designed, accepted and redeemed to ensure that use is not stigmatizing nor impacts

anybody’s right to privacy. The program also includes limited funds for community partner organizations to create

local solutions to transportation barriers for participants.

 

Why are we doing it?

Direct Farm Manitoba exists to represent and advocate for the direct marketers of our agricultural sector. The

Manitoba Farmers’ Market Coupon Program is a win for producers, farmers’ markets and their communities, and

therefore fits perfectly within our mandate. Because Direct Farm Manitoba also represents the majority of

Manitoba’s farmers’ markets, there is no organization better suited to administer the program.

 

This program aims to provide these positive outcomes:

• Access to fresh, local, whole foods and increased overall food security outcomes for members of the

community facing poverty and food insecurity

• Strengthened communities through relationship building, increased health outcomes, and improved

overall mental health resulting from inclusion, decreased social isolation, positive community experience,

and healthy eating habits

• Support local resilient agriculture through the direct support of Manitoba farmers and producers through

increased sales at farmers’ markets

 

What will success look like?

We plan to pilot the program in the first year of operation, partnering with 6 markets and community

partners, with an aim to serve 160 program participants. Partner organizations would distribute $21 in food

coupons weekly to each participant for 16 weeks, from mid-June to mid-October.

 

In order to launch the program, we are seeking revenue of at least $72,500. It is hoped that revenue will

come from a combination of private investors, sponsorship, government support, and grant funding. Limited

fundraising events may be held if required.

 

For general program inquiries, or to discuss our Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact:

Kristie Beynon

Administrator

Direct Farm Manitoba

204-770-5759

kristie@directfarmmanitoba.ca

Are you a community organization or farmers’ market that would like to get involved? Contact Kristie at kristie@directfarmmanitoba.ca for more information.

 

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