Timeline

2000-2006

  • Nova Scotia Participatory Food Security Projects conducted a series of nine research projects between 2000 and 2006. A big focus of this research was Participatory Food Costing, in which low income individuals are involved in the research on the price of food. Participants cost ~65 food items that make up the National Nutritious Food Basket, a representative sample of basic food items covering all the food groups and representing commonly purchased food items.
  • Notable accomplishments of these projects include the development of resources and community tools including ‘What does it cost to eat healthy in your community? A training guide to participatory food costing’; ‘Thought About Food?: A Workbook on Food Security and Influencing Policy’ and the complementary DVD, ‘Food Security – Everyone’s Business.’

2004

  • Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative was formed.

2005

  •  Healthy Eating Nova Scotia is released. The four pillars of this work: Breastfeeding, Fruits & vegetables, Children & Youth, Food Security. A large number of groups came together to produce this report. Document can be found here: http://www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/publications/HealthyEatingNovaScotia2005.pdf
  • Women’s Institutes of NS announce the Buy Local Challenge.

2006

  • Beginning of the NS Food Security Network. This arose out of the NS Participatory Food Security Projects. As funded projects were ending, the group of partners wanted a structure to keep the groups together outside of individual projects.
  • May 17- Slow Food Nova Scotia, in support of good, clean and fair food for all, is registered as a non-profit society in NS
  • Women’s Institutes received 2300 completed Buy Local Challenge surveys.

2007

  • March– first Nova Scotia Food Gathering, held in Debert, NS, organized by NS Food Security Network. Approximately 100 people in attendance.
  • November 16- Nova Scotia Food Forum, AgriTECH Conference Center, Truro, organized by the Rural Secretariat of Canada.

2008

  • Results of the Women’s Institutes Buy Local Challenge are reported and get lots of media attention.
  • September- Friends of Agriculture Nova Scotia (FANS) is started. Coalition of concerned parties on Food Security/ Food Sovereignty in Nova Scotia.
  • Loaded Ladle begins as a small group called Campus Action Food.
  • October 2008- The last of six volumes in the GPI (Genuine Progress Indicators) Soils and Agriculture Accounts examines the contribution of agriculture to rural community viability in Nova Scotia and PEI from an economic, environmental, social, and community perspective. Authored by Jennifer Scott and Ronald Colman.
  • November- One-day community conversation in Bridgewater looking at food security held in Lunenburg/North Queens.
  • December– Second Nova Scotia Food Gathering, held in Debert, NS, organized by NS Food Security Network. Approximately 150 people in attendance.
  • December- $2.3 million in funding from Minister of Agriculture directed towards Farmers and Farmers’ Markets who can encourage local food consumption.
  • 14,000 children were living in poverty in NS.

2009

  • April Flavours Dinner Raises Awareness of Food for Tomorrow
  • April 3- The Nova Scotia government released its Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy provides a framework for addressing the needs of those most vulnerable and those at risk of falling into poverty, while promoting the prosperity necessary for Nova Scotia to grow.
  • October 18-20- Nova Scotia Food Summit in Greenwich organized by Friends of Agriculture NS.
  • November – Annual report on hunger shows Nova Scotia has second largest provincial increase in number of people visiting food banks.
  • Nov 6-8- Slow Motion Food Film Festival, Wolfville. Organized by Slow Food NS
  • NS Food Alliance is created to deal with issue of the decline of farming and lack of primary producers in Farmers’ Markets. Works to increase food production in NS.
  • Cost of Food has increased 18% since 2002 (as reported by Participatory Food Costing Project)
  • “Moving the Food Movement”: Throughout 2009 and into early 2010, the (then) Department of Health Promotion and Protection engaged the food community in a process of capacity building (and sorting out roles), which led to a November 2009 gathering called “Moving the Food Movement”, in which 40 people were trained in Art of Hosting. A meeting the following February continued to bring people together. Most who were involved describe the Moving the Food Movement work as a really key moment in food security work in the province.
  • Tri County Local Food Network was founded, and will be working to assist communities in the Tri Counties (Digby, Yarmouth, and Shelburne) to build a sustainable food system.
  • Local Source Bakery is founded by Sean Gallagher continuing his commitment to supporting local food producers, and providing fresh local food to those in the city of Halifax.
  • FAC publishes Putting Food in Our Cities & Community in Our Food.
  • First winner of environmental stewardship award given out by NS Federation of Agriculture.
  • Atlantic Federations of Agriculture formed.
  • Study finds that $175 million could be added to GDP if Nova Scotians ate local meat. NS producers provide less than 15% of the beef consumed in this province at this time.

2010

  • April– Official start of Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS), a five year Community University Research Alliance Project with MSVU & St. FX as the academic partners and NSFSN as the lead community partner.
  • NS Food Policy Council Formed and has first board meeting on May 3.
  • May- EAC’s Food Action Committee (FAC) publishes ‘Lessons Learned in Organizing Community Food Skills Workshops: A Facilitation Guide as part of the Food Connections Project.
  • June- Off the Hook Co-op and the Off the Hook Community Supported Fishery begins.
  • July- FAC publishes Are Nova Scotians Eating Local?: Where is our food coming from?
  • November– Hunger Count study shows food bank use in our province is up 11 per cent from last year, and a staggering 33 per cent compared to 2008.
  • November 25- Homegrown Success is unveiled by Minister John MacDonell as the new 10 year plan for agriculture in NS. Focuses on benefits of our agricultural industry, not just economic but social and environmental as well. How the new face of agriculture is incorporating this. Documents growth in farmers’ markets from 15 in 2003, to 55 in 2010. Lays out general vision for strengthening agriculture and agri-food in NS, focusing on environmental stewardship and social well-being.
  • FMNS started a training program for new farmers’ market managers to learn the necessary skills to keep farmers’ markets running successfully.
  • Report on state of Agriculture shows troubling findings as average income earned by farmers decreased dramatically over the 2007-2009 period, with a rebound in 2010. The Department of Agriculture also released a policy framework for protecting and preserving agricultural land from development so Nova Scotians can continue to grow their own food and be a source of healthy local foods for people in this province.
  • Seaport Farmers’ Market opens.
  • Only 13 cents from every food dollar goes to Nova Scotian Farmers. Down from 17 cents in 2000.
  • Studies show 15% of Nova Scotians often go hungry. 5 year study (ACT for CFS). 1 in 15 citizens experience income related food insecurity.
  • NS Federation of Agriculture’s 115th annual general meeting calls for National and provincial food strategy. Focuses on food strategy and goals like that came to partial fruition in EGSPA as well as major issues of global warming, carbon footprints and farm-gate economics.

2011

  • January- FAC publishes Community Garden Heavy Metal Study.
  • April- The Tri County Local Food Network was chosen as 1 of 4 “case communities” in NS where research is being conducted for the ACT for CFS Project.
  • May 18- FarmWorks Investment Co-operative Limited was incorporated. Work towards sustainable food investment and production in NS. Setting up lenders and recipients in meaningful relationships to build towards a better future.
  • October- Hunger stats showing a slight increase
  • November- ACORN Organic Conference: Farm & Communities Growing Together (12th Annual)
  • Second Slow Motion Food Film Fest held in Wolfville.
  • Transition Bay St Margaret’s was founded to deal with a local shift to resiliency in a time of global uncertainty with regards to energy and the environment.
  • Food ARC hosted meetings in Lower Sackville and other Regional Gatherings took place to learn more about food costing techniques. Focus was also on how to share our new findings with all levels of society and communities. Food Costing Project is evaluated using outcome mapping to learn more about the effect this project is having on the communities it is operating in.

2012

  • Thrive! Program Begins with $2 million of provincial Funding.
  • May- Permaculture design project initiated by Blockhouse school.
  • Summer- Common Roots Urban Farm has their first growing season on their temporary land where Queen Elizabeth high School used to be. Has many community and individual plots for those in the surrounding area.
  • September- Off the Hook is featured in top 3 in National Geographic’s global contest aimed at finding innovative, community based solutions to overfishing. There were 103 entries from all over the world! As one of the runners-up, Off the Hook won a $5000 grant to go towards their work, as well as a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with key stakeholders in international fisheries management.
  • September- The St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association together with Transition Bay St. Margaret’s received one of six grants awarded to Nova Scotia community organizations in the second round of funding from the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia. The $11,900 grant was awarded to continue the development of Transition Bay St Margaret’s.
  • October 17- POVNET- Halifax International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Oct 17. The theme: Security: housing security, food security and income security were all discussed.
  • October- Hunger stats showing a slight increase from last year.
  • November- Two of the Food Goals, suggested by the EAC and NS Federation of Agriculture, were established in EGSPA (Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act) and proclaimed in the Green Economy Act, Bill 136: 1. local food consumption is supported and encouraged, with the goal of 20 per cent of the money spent on food by Nova Scotians being spent on locally produced food by 2020; 2. local food production is supported and encouraged, with the goal of increasing the number of local farms by five per cent by 2020
  • November 15- East Coast Organic Milk Cooperative is launched with large support from Just Us!
  • ACORN has Organic Conference and Trade Show.
  • December 24- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food on his mission to Canada is presented to the UN General Assembly.
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research Partnership award is given to the partnership between Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security and the Nova Scotia Food Security Network. The Nova Scotia Participatory Food Costing Project is featured in the Canadian Association for Food Studies Newsletter of Fall/Winter 2012/2013

2013

  • February 11– United Way. Nova Scotians mark 211 Day (the 11th day of the second month) with the launch of 211 services throughout the province. Now, residents are a phone call or a mouse click away from obtaining information on a broad range of community and social services. Nova Scotians can access this free, confidential service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year simply by dialing “2-1-1” or by visiting http://www.ns.211.ca. By doing so, they can reduce the confusion, frustration and delay often experienced when looking for help. 211 helps individuals understand and find services and access requirements for programs like employment counseling, housing assistance, services for seniors, emergency shelters, home support, legal assistance, child care, language classes and many more.
  • Feb 25 & 26- ACORN Greenhouse Conference
  • March 15- Thrive receives another $379,000 in funding to promote physical activity in public schools, child-care facilities and hospitals.
  • May- the Farmers’ Market season opens with over 40 markets across the province.
  • May 25- June 9- Permaculture Design Certification course being offered at Blockhouse School.
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