Hungry for a challenge?
Local Nova Scotia food initiative returns September 2015
August 19, 2015 – Halifax, N.S. – The 50% Local Food Club, a made-in-Nova Scotia initiative aiming to increase the purchasing and consumption of locally produced food, is once again asking Nova Scotians to — literally — step up to the plate. The tasty challenge? For people to source 50% of their diet from local producers for the entire month of September. By committing to eat 50% locally, Nova Scotians will put money directly into the pockets of local food producers while enjoying the delicious bounty of food grown close to home.
Last September, the 50% Local Food Club called on Nova Scotians of all ages to rethink their relationship with food. More than 3,000 Nova Scotians answered the call, committing to source 50% of their diet from local producers for the month. Among those community leaders who took up the challenge were Mayors Mike Savage and Pam Mood, Ministers Leo Glavine and Keith Colwell, as well as Deputy Premier Diana Whalen, Halifax MP Megan Leslie, and the entire Town Council of New Glasgow.
Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia and one of the initiative’s organizers, expects last year’s participants are hungry for more. She is also looking forward to many new names being added to the club this year, with registration open now. With the goal of registering 5,000 participants, engaging Nova Scotians from Yarmouth to Cape Breton, and reaching eaters of all ages, the 50% Local Food Club invites us shop, eat and celebrate local.
“Eating local — especially in September —- is an appetizing endeavour and a win-win situation. It puts money into our local economy and strengthens our local food system, and it also tastes delicious,” says Butler. “The 50% Local Food Club is a perfect excuse to indulge in local food, and to take the time to shop, prepare and savour the tastes of our beautiful province.”
Please visit nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com for further details and to join the club.
To view a pdf version, click here
50% LOCAL FOOD CLUB
Exciting new initiative whets province’s appetite
August 26, 2014 – Halifax, N.S. – From Cape North to Yarmouth, many Nova Scotian communities are answering the call to eat close to home. The 50% Local Food Club, a province-wide initiative aimed to increase purchasing and consumption of locally produced food, is inviting Nova Scotians to source half of their diet from local producers for the upcoming month.
From individuals to families, students to seniors, community leaders to businesses – the initiative has gained wide interest and enthusiasm. According to organizers, families have fast become the largest demographic to sign up. Community leaders have certainly not shied away; Halifax Mayor Mike Savage has stepped up to the plate as have many other mayors as well as MLAs cross the province. Halifax MP Megan Leslie and Honourable Minister Leo Glavine were among the first in the province to commit.
One Nova Scotia community has sunk their teeth into the challenge. The New Glasgow Town Council has joined the 50% Local Food Club and is calling on its citizens to do the same. Lisa MacDonald, Chief Administrative Officer of New Glasgow, explains “Supporting our local producers is supporting our local economy.” For that reason, the Town of New Glasgow has been a core partner of the New Glasgow Farmers Market since the beginning. According to MacDonald, farmers’ markets not only provide citizens and communities with healthy eating choices, but they also act as business incubators for new and emerging local food producers and artisans. All this keeps the dollars in the community, while supporting local business and the economy of Pictou County,” MacDonald proudly states.
And for every local food enthusiast like MacDonald, there are many more Nova Scotians yet to discover what our agricultural sector has to offer. The 50% Local Food Club initiative provides participants with the resources, support and inspiration necessary to eat a more local diet. Registrations continue to roll in with the initiative kicking off on September 1st.
Many restaurants and retailers are also expressing interest in the 50% Local Food Club, participating in various ways. Sydney restaurant Flavor on the Water, specializing in locally sourced food, is offering a 15% discount to club members for the month of September.
“We are thrilled with the response!”, says Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia and one of the initiative organizers. “I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised – we are all eaters!”
To register and to learn more visit nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com.
To view a pdf version, click here
August 13, 2014 – Halifax, N.S. – For the month of September, many Nova Scotians will have something new on their table: a 50% local diet. The goal of the 50% Local Food Club, a joint initiative of local food advocates and organizations province-wide, is to increase purchasing and consumption of locally grown food in our province – and everyone will reap the benefits.
The 50% Local Food Club is an invitation to eaters of all ages, families, educators and schools, and businesses to rethink their relationship with local food; it’s also a challenge to community leaders, elected officials and governments to consider how they can best support this growing movement and work to put more local food on the tables of their constituents. The 50% Local Food Club is expected to attract thousands of participants and supporters across Nova Scotia, as it touches many important issues for residents including improved food security, support for local business owners and economy, and the health benefits of eating fresh and seasonal food.
“With the 50% Local Food Club, Nova Scotians have a unique opportunity to stand with local farmers and put money directly into our economy, in both rural and urban communities,” says Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia and one of the initiative organizers. “We are a province of communities and we are being called upon to act – and eat – according to our community values and our shared vision for the future.”
“The 50% Local Food Club is about supporting the local economy by raising awareness about the many products that are being produced right here at home, and by encouraging people to explore the local food available in their own communities,” says Alicia Lake, also a co-organizer. Last year, Lake founded the 50% Local September Club that invited Cape Bretoners to join her in eating a diet of (at least) 50% locally grown food. More than two hundred people from across the island took part in the challenge, paving the way for this year’s province-wide initiative.
To join the 50% Local Food Club, individuals, families, businesses, elected officials, etc. must register online and commit to sourcing 50% of their diet locally for the month of September. To help participants honour their pledge, organizers have created a website of resources including important information on where to shop, where to eat, and 30 days worth of mouth- watering recipes. By registering, participants will also be notified of on-the-ground events taking place in Nova Scotia. https://nslocalfoodclub.wordpress.com/
“This idea is simple but will have a powerful impact in our province,” notes Butler. “By committing to eat 50% locally, Nova Scotians will put money into the pockets of our producers, keep money in our rural communities, and enjoy the delicious bounty of food grown in our province. Everyone eats – and everyone wins.”
To view a pdf version, click here