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Nourish Your Roots Program Boasts Amazing Achievement!

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Nourish Your Roots (NYR) is a farm-to-school fundraising program of Nourish Nova Scotia which is happening across the province until October 27th. This fundraiser helps schools to connect students and their families to local farmers, enabling Nova Scotians to better understand where their food actually comes from: farms! The NYR boxes can be purchased through participating sites across the province for a mere $30 per box. Each box contains a variety of local vegetables and fruit, weighing approximately 20-25 pounds. With the last day of the fundraiser fast approaching, make sure to contact your local participating school or non-profit childcare centre to join this great program!

Supporting local agriculture not only supports families and the local economy, it also helps reduce pollution caused by transporting food over long distances, and electricity used for long periods of storage. Buying apples and potatoes from the valley will keep profits here in NS, and now with the NYR program, schools or non-profit childcare centres in your community will also benefit. Participating schools and centres re-invest these funds into nutrition programs, such as a breakfast, lunch, and snack programs, school gardens, and even cooking programs! Purchasing NYR boxes has benefits for everyone, from healthy food options for families to raising money in a sustainable way for schools and childcare centres.

Nourish started the NYR pilot project in 2015 with the help of an advisory group made up of interested stakeholders from various sectors including farming, public health, education, community members, and volunteers. The NYR advisory group initially planned to have six sites, but interest increased following initial deliveries, and the program expanded to 13 sites for the pilot year. With the success of the pilot, the Nourish Your Roots fundraiser expanded in 2016 thanks in part to funding support from the Department of Health and Wellness, and from the Department of Agriculture, via Select NS sponsorship. In 2016 the NYR program was delivered to 57 sites in seven school boards in the province with the support of 17 farm partners. Over 11,000 boxes of fresh local produce were delivered from Nova Scotian farms to Nova Scotian families, generating over $330,000 in gross revenues!

Nourish has been conducting evaluations since the beginning while working with Dalhousie University – Healthy Populations Institute. Due to the success of the project, and the myriad positive results, the program has grown to include 109 sites this year, including 7 childcare centres and 102 schools in all eight school boards, with produce coming from 23 local farms! The program objective is to sell 16,000 or more boxes this season. 

Nourish NS has a website full of food resources so check it out to find information on vegetable storage, school garden resources, and fun healthy recipes for the whole family.

If you haven’t already ordered your Nourish Your Roots box, you’ll want to do so in the next few days. You’ll be helping a local school or childcare centre and local farms while gaining the benefits of fresh, delicious, healthy foods. What are you waiting for?

by Pam Chandler
Engagement Officer, Northern NS

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