**** COMMUNITY SERVICES Release
Government Supports the Food Needs of Vulnerable Nova Scotians
The government is investing $1.3 million to help ensure vulnerable Nova Scotians get the food they need during the third wave of COVID-19. This funding will be provided to Feed Nova Scotia, smaller food banks and charitable organizations, and Family Resource Centres across Nova Scotia.
“Nova Scotians have been amazing at coming together as a community and helping each other through the third wave of the pandemic,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “Unfortunately, not everyone has people close by to lean on during tough times. We all need to do our part to ensure that those currently experiencing food insecurity have the support they need.”
Feed Nova Scotia, which has a member network of approximately 140 food banks and meal programs across the province, will receive $1 million to support member organizations and the COVID-19 Food Box program.
The food box program is volunteer-based and relies on community members to deliver food boxes to Nova Scotians in need. Throughout the pandemic, volunteers of all ages have come together to do this work, including concerned citizens, school bus drivers, government employees and service providers.
Family Resource Centres will receive $200,000 to continue providing food-related support to the families they serve. The centres have taken an active role in delivering food to families who use their services and to those required to self-isolate, through the isolation support program. Deliveries include fresh produce, milk and basic needs items like cleaning supplies, baby formula and pet food.
The province will also provide $100,000 to smaller food banks not included in the Feed Nova Scotia network and charitable organizations across Nova Scotia including the United Way of Cape Breton.
“Feed Nova Scotia and other community non-profit groups are working hard to address food insecurity across the province at this time of need,” said Community Services Minister Kelly Regan. “In these extraordinary times, we must ensure that community resources like food banks are supported.”
“These are challenging times for Nova Scotians and some are struggling more than others. In the last two weeks, we’ve seen a huge spike in the number of people reaching out for help. This funding will help provide people with the food they need, whether that’s directly through our COVID-19 Food Box program, or by providing additional help for food banks and meal programs that are looking to maintain or expand their support.”
– Nick Jennery, executive director, Feed Nova Scotia
— there are approximately 150,000 Nova Scotians considered food insecure
— food banks and local food programs are open and safely supporting communities; 211 online is available to provide more information and connect people to their nearest option
— if someone is unable to access food support from a local food program, Feed Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Food Box program is available; Nova Scotians can call 211 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. for information
— during the first and second waves of the pandemic, the province provided $2.3 million to Feed Nova Scotia, plus an additional $1.2 million through the federal Safe Restart Agreement
— during the week of April 26, 2021, the COVID-19 Food Box program delivered 1,417 food boxes across the province; since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 27,000 food boxes have been delivered
Feed Nova Scotia: https://www.feednovascotia.ca/
Family Resource Centres: https://novascotia.ca/coms/families/prevention-and-early-intervention/family-resource-centres.html
211 Nova Scotia: https://ns.211.ca/