Many of our employees at Bureau Veritas have stepped up to help those who are most vulnerable to obtain food safely. One employee in particular at our Bedford laboratory, Ann Buck, participated in a food bundling program called Square Roots.
Ann has been volunteering for a local community garden group since its inception 3 years ago. When a local university started a program called Square Roots, Ann’s garden club decided to participate. Once a month, the Square Roots organization would drive to locations throughout Nova Scotia to buy vegetables that couldn’t be sold to grocery stores. This included vegetables such as misshapen carrots, oversized turnips, squash and other legumes. The farmers could now sell produce that would otherwise be composted, and Ann’s club could purchase vegetables at a lower price than at a grocery store. This was a win-win for both the charity and the farmers. The community garden team would compile vegetable bundles that were sold to the public. They could then use any profits to support a donation program used to deliver vegetables to local soup kitchens, school lunch programs and food banks.
When the COVID-19 state of emergency was announced, getting food to people became more important than ever. The community garden came up with a scenario where they could accept donations to help pay for food for people in need. As donations began to roll in, people who needed a little extra financial help could request a food bundle through social media. The team of volunteers jumped to action – packaging food bundles, coordinating deliveries, and physically delivering the produce. To date, approximately 1500lbs of food is being distributed to community members every week. This program was made possible through donations from the community and volunteers like Ann. Thank you for giving back, Ann!