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Bringing more local food to Nova Scotia communities

Bringing more local food to Nova Scotia communities

The Province is rolling out a new pilot project

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Nova Scotia government is rolling out a new pilot project designed to help bring more local food to communities.

The $250,000 program will provide incentives to large kitchens that emphasize using food from local farms.

Northwood, a 385-resident long-term care facility in Halifax, will be the first location to receive support from the program.

The government will provide $12,500 to support Northwood’s transition from imported food to local food. The facility could receive an additional $12,500 based on its increased spending on local products.

Northwood gets about 18 per cent of its food from local sources.

And officials estimate the government support could add 5 per cent to that number.

“It’s the behind-the-scenes work that’s been a little more difficult, getting it from the farm to a truck to Northwood,” Stephanie Hefford, Northwood’s manager of food production, told the Canadian Press. “Buying local isn’t cheap … and the incentive will definitely help.”

Nursing homes, healthcare facilities, public schools, post-secondary schools and correctional facilities could also benefit from this program.

The pilot supports the government’s plan of making sure Nova Scotians can choose local food when they shop.

By 2030, the Nova Scotia government wants 20 per cent of all money spent on food in the province to be on local food.

“When we buy local, we can feel good about what we’re serving to our loved ones. And our money stays in Nova Scotia, which is better for our economy and our communities,” Greg Morrow, minister of agriculture, said in a statement.

The provincial government wants Nova Scotians to weigh in on local food.

The Department of Agriculture is developing a food and beverage strategy, and Nova Scotians have until Dec. 23 to share their views through an online survey.

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