Halifax’s Mobile Food Market — a fresh produce grocery store on wheels — has been recognized with a national award.
The initiative, which launched in 2016, won silver at the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards for its approach in addressing food insecurity.
The market uses a Halifax Transit bus to bring fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables to five communities throughout the municipality. During the winter months, packages of produce are delivered to recreation centres directly, so as to avoid idling a bus.
“The mobile market has captured the public imagination, growing from a neat idea to a welcome part of the weekend when communities come together to meet the bus, pick up healthy food, and spend time with friends and neighbours,” said Mayor Mike Savage in a news release.
The initiative is a collaboration between the municipality, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Partners for Care, the Ecology Action Centre, United Way Halifax, the Atlantic Superstore, and Elmridge Farms Ltd.
WATCH: Pilot project aimed at providing healthy, fresh and affordable food
According to the municipality, communities selected for the project have a higher proportion of people who struggle with food access — including seniors, immigrants, single parents and families with low-household incomes. As well, the communities may not have a grocery store that is easily accessible.
The project has now also grown to include activities and health promotion programs on days that the bus visits communities.