The Cumberland County Cost-Share CSA

October 20, 2014 News No Comments

The Cumberland County Cost-Share CSA is a pilot project which aims to connect low-income families
with healthy and affordable locally produced food. A partnership of the Ecology Action Centre (EAC),
the YMCA of Cumberland, and GoodLake Farm, the Cost-share CSA project is the first of its kind in
Cumberland County. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a system through which customers
sign up for a share in the farm and in exchange receive a weekly food box throughout the growing
season.

The Cost-Share CSA is making fresh produce boxes available at half the cost to individuals and
families in Cumberland County facing financial barriers. The remaining funds are to be raised through
community donations. To support this fundraising effort, the Ecology Action Centre has launched an
online donations campaign.

According to Ecology Action Centre Food Programmer for Cumberland County Su Morin,
“It is our hope that the Cost-Share CSA is a model that can be replicated in other counties in NS”.
She adds that “It is our belief that the Cost-Share CSA represents an innovative and dignified way of
getting healthy, nutritious food to our most vulnerable communities. Because low-income subscribers
contribute half the cost of the food box, it is not a simple handout, but a way of empowering
consumers, while helping to transform the traditional charitable food model”. Food boxes will be
augmented with seasonal recipes and free food skills training opportunities, supported by the Ecology
Action Centre, Cumberland Health, and GoodLake Farm.

Strengthening links between communities and their local food producers helps keep NS food dollars
in NS. According to a study from the NS Federation of Agriculture and the EAC, only 13% of our food
dollars stay in NS, compared to 17% in 1997. Nova Scotia also has some of the highest rates of food
insecurity in the country, with over 12% of Nova Scotians reporting moderate or severe rates of food
insecurity in 2011. Projects such as these build a stronger local food system that puts families and
farmers at the centre.

For more information please contact:

Cumberland:
email Su Morin – 902-251-2959,
Community Food Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre

Halifax office:
email Aimee Carson – (902) 442-1077 or (902) 401-0324
Community Food Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre

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