LIVERPOOL – The Plant to Plate Liverpool Community Garden Society recently received a $2,900 wellness grant from the Queens Community Health Board.
In late February, the society found out it was successful in getting the grant, said Mary Smith, a member of Plant to Plate.
“We applied for the grant on the basis of trying to reduce the barriers to food security that exist in both our community and in Nova Scotia,” she said.
White describes food insecurity as people not having access to abundant, nutritious food. She says Nova Scotia is second most affected by food insecurity. The only place with more food insecurity is Nunavut, added White.
A report focusing on household food insecurity, published on foodarc.ca, says, “It means that members of a household have inadequate or insecure access to healthy food due to financial constraints.”
The report also says, “Fifteen point four per cent of Nova Scotians, or 60,100 households, experienced food insecurity in 2014.”
White doesn’t think there’s a “magic cure” to the problem. She believes a multifaceted approach is needed.
One of White’s ideas is to educate people on what’s available to eat for free in Queens County. At the community garden, White would like to teach people how to start seeds and grow food. Additionally, she would like to teach how to use certain food.
“I am going to have some courses on how to more effectively use the money that you already have toward a food budget,” she said.
White hopes to have met with the Plant to Plate group by the beginning of May.
“From there, I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to form a group of interested people who want to help me to give this programming to people,” she said.
Because money is the biggest barrier to food security, White would like to empower people to make money. Her idea is to do a session called micro agronomics. White’s educational background is in economics, and she’s been in the business industry for a number of years.
She says she wants to show people that it’s possible to increase their income sources so they have more money for food.
About Plant to Plate
Plant to Plate is a grassroots organization.
“All of the members all participate, at this point, in the decisions that are being made about the garden,” explained White.
Everything is free, so there’s no charge for the tools, and in the summer, there is mentoring available.
The group sometimes meets up for activity days to do maintenance in the garden. These group days are intended to make the garden a community-building experience, she adds.
“We try to do events for the community every year,” added White.
White says the garden has 31 plots, but that can be expanded if there’s more interest.
“Some of the beds are accessible, raised beds and some of the beds are in-ground,” she said. “Part of the grant money is going toward building some more accessible beds.”
The Plant to Plate Community Garden Society hasn’t yet reached a decision on when opening day will be, but White anticipates the garden opening in mid-May.
To learn about Plant to Plate and what the group is doing, visit https://www.facebook.com/PlantToPlate/.