NL Government: Community Garden Support Program Bringing Communities Together to Share Fresh, Local Food
November 13, 2019
The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, today provided an update on the Community Garden Support Program, an initiative to increase food self-sufficiency, access to fresh foods, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Since launching the program in April 2019, the department has approved 101 eligible applicants, for a total investment of $50,486. The Community Garden Support Program helped establish 23 new community gardens and enhanced 78 existing community gardens. Applicants reported that more than 3,500 people participated and benefited from the community gardens including youth, seniors, and Indigenous groups.
Community groups, organizations, municipalities and local service districts were eligible to receive up to $500 annually in a non-repayable grant for food production activities. Eligible project costs included operating and minor capital costs required to establish new community gardens, or maintain and expand existing community gardens within the province. Funding was used to purchase seed, fertilizer, limestone, soil, vegetable plants and fruit trees, small tools, watering systems, construction materials for raised beds and greenhouses, garden signage and compost.
Funding for the 2019-20 Community Garden Support Program was sourced from the Provincial Agrifoods Assistance Program to increase awareness and appreciation of the importance of local food production and the agriculture sector. A report on the program is available here.
This initiative advances the Provincial Government’s plans to develop a stronger economic foundation and increase food self-sufficiency by at least 20 per cent by 2022, as outlined in The Way Forward. Support for agriculture also delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the economy and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.
“The variety of community-minded people availing of this program has been heartening – schools, municipalities, service organizations, youth groups, seniors clubs have all come on board. Community gardens are more than a source of fresh, local food – they are a gathering place for children to learn where their food comes from, for seniors to increase social interaction, and for friends to share their gardening expertise and bring home fresh, nutritious food. Thanks to all of you for making this program a resounding success in 2019. ”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources
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Community Garden Support Program
Land for Agriculture
Canadian Agricultural Partnership
Provincial Agrifoods Assistance Program
The Way Forward on Agriculture
Fisheries and Land Resources