FoodARC launches the Report on 2015 Participatory Food Costing

On March 2nd, the Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) shared its most recent report on whether Nova Scotians can afford to eat healthy at an event hosted at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.


  1. An attentive audience awaited the start of our engaging event that shared our research creatively and collaboratively with attendees. Below is one of the life-size family models Corrie Melanson created for our event to communicate the stories of families' abilities to eat healthy - what we call "affordability scenarios."
  2. Each scenario featured a graphic of the associated affordability scenario as well as a quote from a FoodARC research participant to illustrate the challenges of eating healthy with a low income. To begin the morning, Catherine Martin opened the event, welcomed those present to Mi'kma'ki, and readied our hearts and minds.
  3. After over a decade of Participatory Food Costing, there is an increasing need to address growing food insecurity in Nova Scotia.
  4. FoodARC Director Patty Williams described the findings from this research and highlighted that increases in Income Assistance and minimum wage amounts aren't enough - we need complementary social policy like trialling a basic guaranteed income.
  5. Everyone who attended the event received a double-sided infographic. Thanks to the Ecology Action Centre's Our Food Project for highlighting our affordability scenario summary table below!
  6. For the seventh cycle of Participatory Food Costing, we wanted to take a new approach - one that was more collaborative with the people present. We presented our findings thematically and they were supported with quotes by FoodARC research participants, which were read aloud by FoodARC partners to illustrate the lived experience of food insecurity. We also hosted two "collaborative dialogues," where people at the event turned to those around them to respond to questions we proposed to guide conversations.
  7. The storytelling and artistry of spoken word poet Deirdre Lee captivated the room as she recited a poem she wrote for the launch. She wove her personal experiences with the research and recommendations, allowing the audience to engage with the work emotionally.
  8. The second collaborative dialogue asked people in attendance to tell us their dreams for the future of Nova Scotia's food system. We documented responses in a 'wish garden.'
  9. Catherine Martin honoured us by closing the event with her drum and a song. She also spoke to Treaty and Indigenous rights, which are inherent to Indigenous food sovereignty and central to food justice here in Mi'kma'ki.
  10. After accomplishing so much in one morning, we'd like to say 'thank you' and 'we appreciate you' to all those who took part in the launch.