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Council gives support to nutrition program at Trail market

Outdoor markets on the Trail Esplanade are slated to start May 20
Lower-income families and seniors collectively redeemed over $55,000 in coupons with local farmers at Trails Incredible Farmers Market last season. Photo: Unsplash

Volunteers with the farmers market in Trail have worked so hard to grow this favourite seasonal venue over the past seven years.

Besides hooking up shoppers to locally sourced fare, incrEDIBLE trail volunteers have partnered with Columbia Basin Trust and the province to provide fresh and locally grown, raised, and harvested food to low income families and individuals through a nutrition coupon program.

This valued partnership between program funders and volunteers from the Trail United Church and Rossland food banks, in fact, had program patrons redeeming $55,248 in coupons with local farmers at the Trail market last year. That’s up from $38,400 in coupons redeemed the previous season.

“Over 100 lower-income residents from (the Trail area) ate and enjoyed more local, fresh food, learned about healthy eating, and felt connected to their community,” Heather O’Hara and Wylie Bystedt, from the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, wrote to Trail council. “At the same time, your local food system was strengthened with farmers in your community who benefited from this additional income to sustain their farms.”

The association asked the city to write a letter to Health Minister Adrian Dix in support of funding the nutrition coupon program again this season.

“Your encouragement and feedback means a lot and can strengthen support for ongoing funding for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program,” O’Hara and Bystedt noted. “We are ready to dig in and work with your community again in 2023.”

At the March 13 council meeting, Coun. Bev Benson moved the motion to write a letter in support of keeping the program running at the Trail market again this year, with Coun. Paul Butler seconding. The motion passed unanimously.

Trails Incredible Farmers Market has announced there will be an indoor Easter market at the Waneta Plaza on April 8 and a “Modern Living Market” at the plaza on May 6 and May 7.

Outdoor markets on the Trail Esplanade are slated to start May 20.

About the incrEDIBLE trail farmers’ market

Locals have come to expect the unexpected at the award-winning, family-friendly, Trail’s incrEDIBLE Farmers’ Market, located on the picturesque Columbia River Esplanade. Amongst the bustle of the local business community and hum of live entertainment, the incrEDIBLE market turns the river walk into a pedestrian-friendly social hub full of hidden gems and friendly faces every other Saturday morning.

From early spring through early autumn, this regional community market attracts a myriad of local vendors providing diverse, high-quality products. Offering everything from fresh-baked cupcakes, seasonal fruits and veggies, and ready-to-eat meals, to original art, craft liqueurs and local wines, all from friendly producers eager to share their knowledge and experience with the public.

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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