Food Networks

NS news: Feed NS advocates for accessible food options

Feed Nova Scotia says ahead of the Easter holiday, many individuals and families are facing food insecurity and festivities can amplify their struggles.

“Food plays a key part in those celebrations, so if you don’t have food, it’s really hard to participate,” said Nick Jennery, executive director of Feed Nova Scotia. “We are very aware that folks are anxious going into the holidays.”

The demand for assistance has increased said Jennery, with food banks receiving on average 6,600 people reaching out per week.

Among them, 400 are people who have never sought help from a food bank before.

“The increase in new clients is troubling, as is the total number of people in need,” said Jennery.

In response to the evolving needs, Feed Nova Scotia is exploring choice models that prioritize individuals’ ability to shop for the food they desire while removing financial barriers and increasing accessibility.

Jennery said they are using insights from other local organizations in the Halifax-area like the Mobile Food Market, as an option to provide fresh produce at affordable prices.

“The market allows people to choose what they want and its prices are around 30 per cent below retail [and] people are grateful for having the choice of buying the food they want at affordable prices.”

He said by eliminating the financial burden and increasing access points, it can put people in happier spots. However, he said this would have to expand beyond city populated areas, where cheaper options decrease.