Nourishing Communities

Food Coupon Program

Did you know?

Nova Scotia is the most food insecure province in Canada.

Learn more here →

How does the program work?

1

Farmers’ markets partner with social organizations in their community. These organizations help identify households experiencing food insecurity to participate in the program.

2

Participants are given an anonymous alternative currency—or “food bucks”—that can be redeemed at any vendor stall at their local farmers’ market. This currency is already in circulation at the market, so participants cannot be publicly identified.

3

Vendors exchange the “food bucks” with their market manager to receive payment for the products they sold, thereby increasing revenue for small, local businesses.

Addressing food insecurity

Building community

Supporting small, local businesses

The Impact

92%

of participants purchased foods that were previously unaffordable to them.

9 / 10

on a scale from 1-10,  participants across all markets gave the program an average score of 9/10.

85%

of participants reported eating healthier foods as a result of the program. 

92%

of participants felt a greater sense of belonging to their community because of their participation in the program.

94%

of participants felt they had more money to meet their other needs.

[The program was an] amazing experience for my children and I. My children learned math, budgeting, and felt very proud to have their own money. They also felt super happy to be able to buy presents from members whether they were meals or items or food. 

2020 Program Participant

As a single parent, [this program] gives my child a great example of supporting local and gives him something to look forward to. I normally cannot keep up with my budget. I believe in buy-local and support our farmers — budget interferes at times!

2021 Program Participant

I left the market feeling like a million dollars. The market isn’t somewhere we would usually go, but because of this program, we will go regularly. Our 3-year old twins love it.

2020 Program Participant

This program had a dramatic impact on our family. It provided us with an affordable family outing each week where the children were able to try new healthy foods… This inspired us to pick a new item to try each week and teach them how to use it in a different way teaching them important cooking skills.

2020 Program Participant

This program was an absolute blessing to my daughter and myself.

2020 Program Participant

Disability supports are only 54% of the poverty limit. Food prices are drastically increasing, and there is a housing crisis. Knowing I have a [dollar] amount for fresh local vegetables and a few other essentials means I can better budget for heat and medication… I can’t emphasize enough how much the decreased fear and stress over basic food impacts my mental wellbeing.

2021 Program Participant

The New Glasgow Farmers Market has participated in the Nourishing Communities program from the beginning. Not only have we been able to help more than 75 families in our community, but this program has also supported many of our local producers, making a tremendous impact on our local economy. This program embodies what community is all about, inclusivity, support and bringing people together.

New Glasgow Farmers' Market Manager

Participating in the Nourishing Communities program has been of great economic and social benefit to our community!  The program brought new customers to the Marketplace that provided economic support for our local farmers, prepared food makers and artisans. Even more importantly, the program assisted participating families in affordability of rising food costs and promoted the opportunity for them to shop fresh and local every week, right here in our community.

Merigomish Marketplace Manager

It is always such a pleasure to see participants returning regularly to do their shopping, often with their families. The kids seem to really enjoy the live music, playing on the grass or munching on a snack like a cookie or a cucumber. There is something wonderful about seeing the same friendly faces each week at the market, and I hope everyone who comes by on Saturdays feels the same way about our market community.

Bridgewater Farmers' Market Manager

A snapshot of 2021, our 3rd year of the program

27

Farmers’ Markets

500+

Participating Households

$250,000

Worth of Coupons Distributed 

Want to support the program?

sponsorship will be launched soon!