Food Inclusive Housing project

Davis Pier Consulting's social innovation outpost, Pier Labs, has run a successful Food Inclusive Housing pilot project and sees further opportunity to support Nova Scotians faced with the challenges of food insecurity.

a person is delivering a box of groceries to someone's door

Two years ago, the Province of Nova Scotia committed to a four-year Poverty Reduction Blueprint that included funding social innovation labs with a goal to co-create and test new approaches to complex social challenges. Davis Pier lead the innovation lab on food security from January 2018 – June 2019. Phase 1 involved research to understand the problem and develop concepts to address food security. Phase 2 involved designing and testing an operating service prototype to understand the outcomes for participants and sustainability of the model. The service model was called Food Inclusive Housing and the prototype ran in the community of Amherst over three months.

Here's how it worked:

  • Participating households selected food from a menu of healthy items to purchase on a monthly basis.
  • Households paid a combined fee each month for groceries (at a reduced price) and rent.
  • Food was delivered to participating households on a weekly basis.

The prototype was designed and tested with a goal to understand how the service was able to address four main areas:

  • Cost & Affordability
  • Quality & Nutrition
  • Time-saving & Reduced stress
  • Community Connection

These were identified as crucial for food insecure households to consistently access sufficient quantities of foods they enjoyed.

Overall, the service was well liked by participants, provided nutritious food at a lower cost, reduced people’s stress, and provided strong community and economic connections.We believe this innovative model should be further explored to assess its financial sustainability and ability to substantively address food insecurity in the province. 

Keeping the good going:
The next step is to develop a sustainable business model that can provide a quality service scaled throughout the province in a sustainable way. If you have an interest in partnering or finding out more about how you can support this project, please get in touch here.