Food Coupon Program Improves Access

More Salt Springers can add a dash of healthy and local ingredients to their daily menu thanks to a successful food coupon program for seniors and low-income families.

As many as 18 seniors and 20 families have participated in the weekly program since Tuesday Farmers’ Market vendors began to offer fresh produce in May, according to Simone Cazabon, who coordinates the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program through Salt Spring Island Community Services.

The program provides weekly gift certificates with a minimum value of $15. Program participants redeem the coupons at the market stall of their choice and farmers, in turn, exchange the vouchers for cash. The coupons are valid for all market products except for prepared goods like pastries, pies and bread. “Everybody wins,” Cazabon said.

By the end of the market season in October, program participants will have been eligible for a minimum subsidy of $240.

The Tuesday Market features more than 40 local vendors selling everything from arugula to zucchinis, depending on the time of year. Eggs, meat, dairy products, vegetables and various prepared foods are available every Tuesday at Centennial Park between 2 and 6 p.m. Read the full Driftwood Article