Government funding will help bring more affordable, fresh food directly to communities.
The Mobile Food Market, which now operates in 12 sites across seven communities in the Halifax Regional Municipality, received $250,000 to expand. Communities, Culture and Heritage and Seniors Minister, Leo Glavine, highlighted the investment as part of Seniors Week.
“We are happy to support a service that helps ensure more Nova Scotians have improved access to healthy, fresh food,” said Mr. Glavine. “It is an innovative model which brings food directly into communities. It also helps strengthen communities by bringing people – older Nova Scotians, newcomers, families and others – together to meet and build new friendships and connections.”
The Mobile Food Market is a travelling food market program that brings healthy, high-quality and affordable food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to those who need it. That includes communities experiencing challenges with food access and people with limited access to fresh food – such as older Nova Scotians, those with mobility issues, low income Nova Scotians, and those with limited access to transportation.
“In addition to the food service, we work with community groups, organizations and leaders to address food issues in communities,” said Julia Kemp, Manager of the Mobile Food Market. “For example, we know older adults experience significant barriers when it comes to accessing nutritious food – with financial, mobility and transportation barriers being among the most common.
“By bringing affordable food to locations where older adults live and gather, we not only increase food access, but also bring community energy and interaction into these spaces.” The Mobile Food Market serves people in Fairview, Spryfield, Harrietsfield, East Preston, East Dartmouth, North Preston, and North End Halifax. It operates during the summer months on a converted transit bus and uses community spaces during colder months.
This investment helps to support healthy, active living by older Nova Scotians – one of the actions identified in SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population. It is also part of government’s commitment to reduce poverty. Twenty million dollars will be invested over four years to support actions from all levels of government and communities to work collaboratively to help reduce poverty in Nova Scotia.
The Mobile Food Market began in 2016 and has served about 10,000 people. It is a joint project of Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Partners for Care, the Ecology Action Centre, United Way Halifax and the Atlantic Superstore.
For more information on the Mobile Food Market and the communities it serves visit www.mobilefoodmarket.ca/.