by Alyssa Erwin
A regular, everyday Halifax transit bus is being transformed into a food market on wheels to bring affordable, high quality, fresh fruits and vegetables to communities across Halifax.
The 21-week pilot, known as the Mobile Food Market, launches this Saturday— May 14—making stops to the communities of North Preston and East Preston. North end Halifax, Fairview and Spryfield will get visits the following Saturday, May 21. The project is a partnership between Partners for Care, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax Regional Municipality and the Ecology Action Centre.
Aimee Carson, the community food organizer at the EAC describes the project as a way of addressing food insecurities across the city. “In Nova Scotia and in Halifax household food insecurity is a very pressing and growing concern,” she says.
According to a 2012 report by PROOF, a research team that investigates household food insecurity in Canada, one in five households in Halifax were affected by food insecurity between 2011 and 2012 making food insecurity the highest in Halifax compared to other metropolitan areas.
Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, medical officer of health with Nova Scotia Health Authority, says currently as many as one in seven households in Halifax either can’t afford or can’t access healthy food. The five communities chosen to be stops for the Mobile Food Market were selected under the consideration of proximity and accessibility to a grocery store, as well as the concern of neighbourhoods with a higher proportion of residents struggling with food access.
The fruits and veggies being sold to these communities will be sold at prices comparable to discount grocery stores, and both cash and debit will be accepted on-site.