June 26, 2019

Press Release: Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Launches Province-wide Food Bucks Pilot Project

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) is thrilled to announce the launch of a province-wide project to increase food security and support households in need across Nova Scotia. FMNS is working with five of its member markets on project, named the Nourishing Communities Food Bucks Pilot Study. The five markets will work with partner organizations to issue “food bucks”, an anonymous alternative currency that can be redeemed at any vendor stall at participating markets. This pilot project is built upon successful programming in British Columbia and an expansion of work done for three seasons at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market and one season at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to explore just how big of an impact a farmers’ market can have for its community”, says Justin Cantafio, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) Cooperative. “Farmers’ Markets are so much more than a once-a-week shopping destination. They’re social, cultural, and economic hubs and anchors in their communities.”

The 5 farmers’ markets participating in this pilot study are the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market, Windsor’s Avon Community Farmers’ Market, the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, the Truro Farmers’ Market, and the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market. This project is made possible thanks to generous funding and support provided by Communities, Culture and Heritage Nova Scotia, who have indicated that a successful pilot project may mean an opportunity to expand to even more markets next year.

The partner organizations will select individuals, couples, and families in need who will benefit from reduced food insecurity and increased social inclusion. As recently as 2014, over 15% of Nova Scotians experienced food insecurity, including 22% of children, and food bank use has been steadily increasing in Nova Scotia[1]. A 2015 study found that Nova Scotia’s food insecurity rates were the highest in all of Canada[2], and seniors are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity[3], with 19.7% of Nova Scotian women over 65 and 14.7% of Nova Scotian men over 65 living in low-income households[4].

The Nourishing Communities Food Bucks Pilot Study will:

  • Contribute to systematically overcoming Nova Scotia’s high rates of food insecurity;
  • Provide much needed opportunities for social and community engagement for people experiencing poverty, food insecurity, and social isolation throughout Nova Scotia, and;
  • Support the production and availability of locally grown and produced foods.

The Nourishing Communities Food Bucks Pilot Study has three principal objectives:

  1. To provide financial support to those in need to access healthy food;
  2. To provide an experience that supports physical, mental, and community health;
  3. To support local producers and farmers in developing a robust food system in Nova Scotia.

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For more information or to request an interview, contact:

Justin Cantafio

Executive Director
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative
Find us online at
Facebook: Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia
Twitter: @MarketFreshNS
Instagram: @marketfreshns

About Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS)

Founded in 2004, FMNS is a non-profit cooperative of farmers’ markets for farmers’ markets, advances growth and prosperity for our member markets and their vendors through training, resources, advocacy, promotion, and community. With 31 member markets across the province and growing, we’re the unified voice of the farmers’ market sector in our region. Our vision is for a cooperative and dynamic farmers’ market sector cultivating successful businesses, vibrant local economies, and healthy communities.