Grow Nova Scotia, an initiative of Agri-Futures NS, hosted a pair of meetings in Antigonish on June 6 to discuss increasing access to local food in local schools.
Shelly Juurlink, executive director with Agri-Futures, said the meetings are part of a collective impact framework where they bring people together to discuss increasing access to locally produced food in schools. She said topics at the meeting included assets and programs that could be utilized to accomplish the goals of making local food available to schoolchildren in the area.
One of the assets mentioned was the Antigonish Farmer’s Market, with the potential of a commercial kitchen where food could be prepared for schools.
Juurlink said Agri-Futures NS identified there is potential being lost for local farms and increasing economic development in rural communities where they are importing food in order to fill the needs of public institutions, namely schools.
The province wide program is hosting a number of meetings across the province. Once the meetings wrap up, organizers will go over all the info and develop a common agenda, which will be brought back to the province in the fall. Juurlink said they are trying to think big and act small while moving the dial on local food one per cent at a time.