The one-time fund of $475,000 will help expand farmer’s markets and help them operate during emergencies.

Provincial officials said it will help ensure that residents in B.C. have access to food throughout emergency events.

“With the floods and wildfires in B.C. this past year, farmers’ markets give us a chance to directly support our local farmers, who, despite all the challenges, continue to deliver great food for us,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“This investment will help B.C. farmers bounce back in the coming years by making sure farmers’ markets can serve our communities in times of need.”

According to government officials, the money can be used for signs and merchandising, storage and transportation and power and operations costs.

Eligible applicants include non-profit groups, co-operatives, for-profit corporations, local governments and First Nations that operate a farmers’ market that primarily sells B.C. food and beverage products.

Eligible applicants can receive up to $15,000 each.

“Community-based farmers’ markets across B.C. are a key anchor for local and regional food systems supporting thousands of local farm, food and artisanal businesses,” said Heather O’Hara, executive director, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.

“The BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program is a critical investment in the resiliency of local farmers’ markets, which have risen to the challenge and fed our communities in both good times and throughout COVID, forest fires and flooding.”

Applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will be accepted until Jan. 28 at noon.