A Cape Breton program that provides fresh, healthy meals to those who can’t afford them has delivered almost 5,000 food packs to residents in need over the last nine weeks, but the program is coming to an end in two weeks.
“It feels amazing, we feel pretty lucky to be able to do something like this,” said Emma Jerrott, co-ordinator of the Good Food Bus and Good Food Packs program.
She said the program has shipped out as many as 800 packs per week.
Funding for the program has come from donations and other sources.
When schools shut down because of COVID-19, money that was allocated for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education’s breakfast club program instead went to food packs for those students.
“A lot of school-aged children are getting to benefit from the packs,” said Jerrott.
The program has been supported by volunteers who pack food and then distribute it to communities around Cape Breton.
Claire Turpin, manager of the New Dawn Enterprises Better Bite Community Kitchen in Sydney, said there have been many donations that have helped over the last few weeks.
Some donations have been food-based, like bread loaves. Another was a donation of trolleys from Centre 200. The Cape Breton Regional Library also donated books to be added to the food packs.
Turpin said there was an increase in the need for food after the pandemic started.
“When we got started on this, we just had people who were afraid to leave their homes,” she said. “We work a lot with seniors and those who are immunocompromised.”
She said the meals on wheels program saw its clientele double over the last few weeks. She was worried the program would not be enough for the people in need.
“That’s accounting for a meal a day for some clients and what are they eating otherwise,” Turpin said.
Program coming to an end
The Good Food Packs program will be done in two weeks.
At that point, the Good Food Bus will take over and travel to communities to sell affordable fruits and vegetables to those in need.
The bus had to shut down service once the pandemic started because of concerns over physical distancing.
Feed Nova Scotia also has a food box program that is available to anyone who cannot access the Good Food Bus.