FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2019
Press Release: New Glasgow Farmers Market Launches Food Bucks Pilot Project in Pictou County
The New Glasgow Farmers Market (NGFM) is thrilled to announce our participation in the launch of a province-wide project to increase food security and support households in need across Nova Scotia. The NGFM is working with the Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia and four other member markets on the project named the Nourishing Communities Food Bucks Pilot Study. We are working with local partner organization, Kids First to issue “food bucks”, an anonymous alternative currency that can be redeemed at any vendor stall at the NGFM. This pilot project is built upon successful programming in British Columbia and an expansion of work done for three seasons at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market and a previous season at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market.
“The New Glasgow Farmers Market is proud to participate in the Nourishing Communities Program. Making a positive impact on overall health and well-being in our community and increasing access to local food and goods is at the core of our organization. To be able to expand on this goal in such a meaningful way is very rewarding for us”, comments Kristi Russell, Market Manager of the New Glasgow Farmers Market.
Michelle Ward, Executive Director says “Partnering with the New Glasgow Farmers Market has been such a great experience for our organization and families in our community. Families are embraced as part of the Farmer’s Market family and treated with such respect. They have told us so many positive outcomes from their experiences and we are pleased to continue to be a part of this program”.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to explore just how big of an impact a farmers’ market can have for its community”, says Justin Cantafio, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) Cooperative. “Farmers’ Markets are so much more than a once-a-week shopping destination. They’re social, cultural, and economic hubs and anchors in their communities.”
This project is made possible thanks to generous funding and support provided by Communities, Culture and Heritage Nova Scotia, who have indicated that a successful pilot project may mean an opportunity to expand to even more markets next year. Thanks also goes to the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia who has organized and made this opportunity possible.
Participating partner organizations will select participants in need who will benefit from reduced food insecurity and increased social inclusion. As recently as 2014, over 15% of Nova Scotians experienced food insecurity, including 22% of children, and food bank use has been steadily increasing in Nova Scotia . A 2015 study found that Nova Scotia’s food insecurity rates were the highest in all of Canada , and seniors are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity , with 19.7% of Nova Scotian women over 65 and 14.7% of Nova Scotian men over 65 living in low-income households .
The Nourishing Communities Food Bucks Pilot Study will:
• Contribute to systematically overcoming Nova Scotia’s high rates of food insecurity;
• Provide much needed opportunities for social and community engagement for people experiencing poverty, food insecurity, and social isolation throughout Nova Scotia, and;
• Support the production and availability of locally grown and produced foods.
The Nourishing Communities Food Bucks Pilot Study has three principal objectives:
1. To provide financial support to those in need to access healthy food;
2. To provide an experience that supports physical, mental, and community health;
3. To support local producers and farmers in developing a robust food system in Nova Scotia.