The 2020 pilot season of the Manitoba Community Food Currency Program is coming to a close, and has proven the program to be a success. Based on partnerships between Direct Farm Manitoba, member farmers’ markets, and several community organizations serving different areas of the province, the Currency Program rolled out in Winnipeg, Carman, and Morden in this inaugural season.
Program participants were supported in purchasing local food at farmers’ markets through the provision of currency, which they were able to use like cash at partner markets. Farmers and vendors were then reimbursed for the value of the currency, earning the full value of the food they grew and raised. This model created new relationships and customers for farmers and markets, and supported access to nutritious, local food for program participants. In future years, Direct Farm Manitoba intends to expand the project, reaching more communities throughout the province and contributing to both food security and the ongoing success of direct-marketing farmers.
Direct Farm Manitoba is indebted to the staff and volunteers with the Behavioural Health Foundation, NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, West Central Women’s Resource Centre, Many Hands, and the Carman Food Council for their work in connecting their participants with our markets. The staff and vendors at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market, the Morden Farmers’ Market, and the Carmen Farmers’ Market made program participants feel at home, and the work of Fireweed Food Co-op supported community partners in bringing food directly to their participants in their communities.
For inquiries about the Manitoba Community Food Currency Program, please contact Kristie Beynon, Executive Director, at [email protected]