Press Release: New Glasgow Farmers Market Launches Food Bucks Pilot Project in Pictou County

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.

Exciting News Growing Your Way!

The Giving Garden

We are very excited to announce that construction is about to begin on a very special garden space at the Market! You can find the press release here.

A community garden of sorts has been on our wishlist for a number of years, right behind a year round building. Now that we have a  year round home, it’s time to start pursuing our other goals. Initially, the garden was to be a space behind the dome, a tiered garden.

We were very excited to announce earlier this year that we received a generous $3000 grant from the Pictou County Community Health Board towards the project.

Just recently, we found out that our garden project was a recipient of a 150 Forward Fund grant in the amount of $14,000, with $1,000 of that amount committed to Canada150 celebrations at the Market on July 1st.

This is huge. This budget means we can do so much more for the garden. We can have a larger impact on our community and sooner than expected. Thanks to the generosity and partnership of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the Town of New Glasgow  and the Pictou County Community Health Board,  this project will reach completion this year, rather than in phases as originally planned.

The Goal of the Giving Garden

Why the Giving Garden? This is not a community garden in the sense where everyone gets plot of land to grow because quite simply, there isn’t enough space.  The Market is about produce and good food and nutrition, yes. However, we believe in whole health and wellness. Mind, body and soul. We want the garden to contribute and “give” to all of these things in our community and for years to come. We can give in many ways and that’s why we chose to call it the Giving Garden.

For the Mind and the Soul

The garden will have a concrete patio which will last for many years. During Market this will be a place you can take your food, coffee or snack to sit and relax riverside and socialize with friends and neighbours. However, the patio will also double as an outdoor classroom. In future, we hope to offer programs on gardening or other workshops, the possibilities are really endless.

The garden will also have a space for quiet reflection, surrounded by flowers overlooking the river for those that are looking for a quiet space.

We will be able to start a youth program. With our community, we will be able to teach our youth how to grow starting from seed and then they can transplant their plants into the raised beds when it comes time.

For the Body

Of course we will have raised beds, including a wheelchair accessible area. We will be able to plant fruits and vegetables. The rest of the garden will include as many edible plants and flowers as possible. The bounty will then be given back to the community in a yet to be determined process.

We are hoping once everything is built and ready to go, that there will be community groups that will be willing to come in and help us maintain and work the garden. Gardening after all, is good for the soul!

We will also be able to connect the existing Pioneer Trail to the rest of the New Glasgow Riverside by improving the section behind the Market building.

We have a volunteer group comprised of our dedicated farmers and garden enthusiast vendors who are diligently planning, designing and ready to build and plant. Our goal is to have it all ready to unveil to you this July 1st, on Canada’s 150th birthday! We will have a ribbon cutting ceremony among other activities and you will be able to visit the Giving Garden!

We hope that once built, the garden will keep giving for years to come.

We will keep track of our progress and you can follow along as the space transforms. We will also be looking for friends of the garden as we are looking for materials to build and then later maintain.

Once again, we are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

The Market also recognizes the significant, on-going partnership with the Town of New Glasgow who worked with us and generously donated the land behind the Market to us and the important contribution of the Pictou County Community Health Board to this community project.

It takes a community to grow a garden and a garden to grow a community!

Let’s Get Growing! canstockphoto1455452

Press Release

Here’s a look at the space before, we’ll be sure to keep you posted with progress photos as we always do!

 

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