North Saanich Food for the Future board members, Diana Chown, Ashley Stelck, Susan McIntyre and Kathy Scott accept a cheque from Danella Parks,
Community Development Manager, Vancity (second from right).
Thanks to a generous grant from VanCity's enviroFund, the North Saanich Farm Market has been able to hire a Market Manager for the 2012 season. Susy Abbey joined the market in June, and will be on hand every Saturday to interact with vendors and customers. Her mandate is to expand our profile in the community, and to seek out new growers and crafters to make our market even more vibrant and supportive of the local economy and food sustainability. To contact Susy to become a full- or part-time vendor, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the market any Saturday morning.
Vancity’s Visa enviroFund™is distributing a total of a quarter of a million dollars in grants to support 21 farmers’ markets that bring local, natural and organic food to communities throughout the region. For many years, Vancity has been funding environmental initiatives focused on developing a sustainable local food system. Farmers’ markets contribute to a healthier environment, improved individual health and help build a more resilient local economy.
“Our cardholders make it possible to provide funding to the local farmers’ markets by choosing to use their enviro Visa card when making daily purchases,’ says Jean-Marc Handfield, Vice President Payment Solutions and Member Services Centre. “This initiative is a great example of our philosophy of working together with our members to help build sustainable communities that can prosper and thrive.”
Elizabeth Quinn, Executive Director of the BC Association of Farmers' Marketssays the funding will be great for all the farmers' markets in the region. “Strong vibrant markets really support farmers in offering fresh local food. Eating locally grown food also encourages the use of local farmland, and keeps the money in the region supporting the local economy," says Quinn.
In addition to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, others benefiting from a financial boost from the enviroFund™ included the North Saanich Food for the Future Society, an organization that operates the North Saanich Farm Market.
Since 2007 Vancity and the Vancity Community Foundation have supported farmer’s markets in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley by providing nearly $600,000 towards initiatives that support expansion, marketing, linking chefs with farmers, helping the Vancouver Farmers’ Market Society become a permanent fixture in local neighbourhoods and supporting the creation of the New City Market, a year-round facility in Vancouver that will support the sustainability of local farms.
Did you know?
- Fresh produce sold at BC farmers' markets travels less than 300 km to get to the consumer. Compare this to the average North American meal, which travels 2,400 km to get from field to plate and contains ingredients from five countries in addition to our own. All the transportation results in a lot of fossil fuels being burned which contributes to air pollution, acid rain and climate change.
- Over 75 per cent of farmers selling at farmer’s markets are certified organic or use natural methods of farming.
- 25 per cent of farmers have been farming for less than five years.
- Over the summer Vancity will be giving away 15,000 vouchers valued at $5 at various Vancity community eventswhich can be redeemed at farmer’s markets to support the purchase of local, natural and organic food.