Innovative partnership connects farms and families

Kootenay Kids and West Kootenay EcoSociety have announced that the popular Farms to Families program will resume for 2011.

Kootenay Kids and West Kootenay EcoSociety have announced that the popular Farms to Families program will resume for 2011.

Through the program, Kootenay Kids provides vouchers to families in need to allow them to purchase fresh produce at the Cottonwood and Downtown markets operated by the EcoSociety. Each voucher, worth $3, can be redeemed for the same value in fresh produce, syrup, honey, eggs, or meat. Processed food, cooked food, and baked items are not eligible for the program.

“We love this program because it helps address the nutritional needs of families in the region and encourages participation in an important community event,” said Jennifer Sebastian, program coordinator for Kootenay Kids.

“Farms to families has been a huge success for each of the past two years, and we’re confident this year will be no different.”

EcoSociety executive director David Reid agreed, saying “Farms to Families recognizes the important connections between health, the environment, and social justice. This project directly supports our goals in hosting the markets each week: we want to get more fresh local produce in the hands and mouths of families, and we want to support our region’s farming community.”

The program was originally funded in part by the BC Gaming Commission. A fundraiser with Grounded Coffee in Nelson and private donations have allowed the program to continue in 2011.

Qualifying families can pick up their vouchers from Kootenay Kids and spend them at the Wednesday market or the Saturday market until October 29, when the markets close for the winter.

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