Feed Nova Scotia announced Tuesday it will discontinue its COVID-19 home delivery program later this summer, saying food insecurity needs more sustainable responses and long-term solutions.
"You cannot solve the food insecurity business through food charities. It just can't be done," said Nick Jennery, Feed Nova Scotia's executive director.
The COVID-19 Food Box Program began in May 2020 and will end Aug.
Jennery said the program was set up to be a short-term pandemic response for people who were stuck at home and couldn't get to a food bank. He said it cost $2.1 million a year — a figure he said isn't sustainable for Feed Nova Scotia.
"But it's not about the money. We could throw another $2.1 million at it and delay the decision for another year, and we'd still be in this spot," Jennery said
Over the past two years, it has supplied 52,000 boxes to 21,000 Nova Scotians in 7,700 households through 17,000 deliveries.
Transition program coming in August
Jennery said Feed Nova Scotia is implementing a transition plan that involves giving food and money to other food banks that are part of its network so they can continue with the home deliveries.
"And this will give a bigger variety of foods to those who who need it, because they can also deliver perishable foods, which we were unable to do," Jennery said.
The transition program will run from August to March 2023.
"In the meantime, we're going to be looking to see if there's more effective ways to provide immediate food support. And if we have to continue that transition program, we will do that," Jennery said.
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