Halifax’s Mobile Food Market received national recognition today, winning silver in the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards for its innovative, collaborative approach to addressing food insecurity.
The Mobile Food Market, which originated out of the Mayor Mike Savage’s “Conversation on Healthy, Livable Communities,” is a shared project of Halifax Regional Municipality, Public Health (Nova Scotia Health Authority), Partners for Care, the Ecology Action Centre, United Way Halifax, the Atlantic Superstore, and Elmridge Farm Ltd.
“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 Savage.
The market relies on a Halifax Transit bus to bring fresh, healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables to five communities throughout the municipality. During the winter, to avoid idling a bus, produce packs are delivered directly to recreation centres in the communities.
Communities selected for the market have a higher proportion of people who often struggle with food access, including seniors, immigrants, single parents and families with low household income. Proximity to a grocery store was another consideration in community selection. The Nova Scotia Health Authority provides overall project coordination along with the research and evidence needed to select and engage communities.
“It’s great to receive this recognition for the Mobile Food Market and to highlight the strength of partnerships in impacting the health of our communities,” said Tricia Cochrane, Vice President of Integrated Health Services Primary Health Care and Population Health. “This initiative would not have had the same results and level of engagement without so many partners joining forces.”
What started out as an initiative to address food insecurity has grown to include health promotion and active living, literacy, and social inclusion. Community members can now sign up for a library card or take out a library cookbook on market days, and HRM Recreation staff coordinate with market days to bring the Rec Van full of games and activities to the communities.
Robust community consultation and involvement have been key to the market’s success. The markets operate in partnership with local community leaders at each site in a partnership model designed to leverage all available community-based resources.
The IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards recognize organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking bold steps to improve Canada through advancements in public administration and management.
Deputy Mayor Waye Mason and Julia Kemp, Manager of the Mobile Food Market, accepted the award at a luncheon in Toronto earlier today.
Source: Media Release