TRURO, N.S. – According to Feed Nova Scotia, farmers across the province donated more than 320,000 kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables, and poultry and dairy products to the charitable organization in 2017. This marked an increase of 30 per cent over the previous year.
These donations represent one third of all the perishables that Feed Nova Scotia distributed to its network of 146 food banks, shelters and meal programs from one end of the province to the other.
“The real impact of farm donations can’t be measured in dollars or kilograms,” said Nick Jennery, executive director of Feed Nova Scotia. “Nova Scotia has the highest rate of food insecurity among all the Canadian provinces, and every donation we receive from the farming community means so much. It’s about the smile on a kid’s face when they have a hot meal to serve their family; and the nourishment and comfort that thousands of Nova Scotians are able to receive.”
In addition to fresh produce donations by farmers, the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture added to that contribution, presenting Jennery with a cheque for $1,500 at their April Council of Leaders meeting.
“After our ‘Beef Up the Food Bank’ initiative ended, we still had a sum of money remaining and one of our council members suggested that we donate the remaining funds to Feed Nova Scotia,” said Victor Oulton, president of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “We felt this was a great idea and a good way to continue supporting the organization’s mission to feed Nova Scotians.”
Through food donations and assistance from almost 1,000 volunteers, a donation of $2 allows Feed Nova Scotia to distribute enough food for three meals.
“What that means is that your donation today of $1,500 equates to about 2,200 meals,” said Jennery. “That’s amazing. I’m going to put a lot of smiles on faces when I go back to the office and they see this because they know how critical it is for so many people in our province.”