BEDFORD: Nourish Your Roots, (NYR) is a healthy fundraising program developed by Nourish Nova Scotia for schools and non-profit childcare centres that connects children and families to the healthy, local and fresh food available from Nova Scotia farmers.

Instead of magazine subscriptions, chocolate bars or cookie dough, NYR is changing the landscape, to offer nutritious, local food from Nova Scotia farmers in the peak of the season. A key principle is that 100 per cent of the money stays in Nova Scotia to reinvest in the local farm economy and healthy school communities.

All the money each school raises goes towards healthy food programs in that school, like breakfast, snack, lunch, garden, or cooking skills programs. By purchasing a box, the consumer is making an investment in the health and wellbeing of farming communities and students.

Margo Riebe-Butt RD, executive director of Nourish Nova Scotia told The Reporter that principals or “key contacts” are in charge of each school.

“Each school rounds up volunteers to help on delivery day [including students],” she explained.

Each box contains a variety of produce focusing on root vegetables such as carrots, turnip, onions, potatoes, and other items such as fall fruit. Boxes vary depending on the farm partner, but all are guaranteed to be fresh and delicious. With contributions from private and corporate donors along with Select Nova Scotia, Nourish has been able to grow the program to 128 sites across the province. Last year the program generated almost $400,000 for schools and farms. Selling began on September 10.

Among the schools selling goods between September 10-21 (pick-up will be at scheduled times the week of October 1-4) was St. Andrews Consolidated.

Strait area schools selling goods between September 17-28 (pick-up for most schools will be the week of October 15-18) are Antigonish Education Centre, Bayview Education Centre, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy, Tamarac Education Centre, and Whycocomagh Education Centre.

Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy will be selling between September 24 and October 5 (pick-up will be at during the week of October 22-25).

For more information contact Margo Riebe-Butt at: margo.riebe-butt@nourishns.ca or 902-456-1771 (or Janice MacNeil at: janice.macneil@nourishns.ca or 902-456-8412). Nourish Nova Scotia can be reached by calling: 902-456-1771, or by going to the Web site: www.nourishns.ca.