Nova Scotia

Hope Blooms hits the road to help seniors

The youth-run business in Halifax just launched Bicycle Built for Food, a community-supported agriculture program using produce grown from its garden.

Youth-run program starts delivering fresh food to local businesses to raise money for community elders

Hope Blooms junior leader Aicha Wade, 12, delivers organic greens and salad dressings to businesses in north-end Halifax. (Amy Smith/CBC)

The kids from Hope Blooms are hitting the road with a new project to help Halifax seniors.

The youth-run business just launched Bicycle Built for Food, a community-supported agriculture program using produce grown from its garden. 

For about $10 a week, the project's junior leaders deliver small bags of fresh organic greens, herbs and homemade salad dressing right to the doors of local businesses, using an electric cargo tricycle.

Emily Chan, an intern at Hope Bloom, said the project will help lots of people in the community. (CBC)

The food is carried in environmentally friendly bags designed by Empowered Women Blossom, a group of older woman from the area. 

All proceeds from the project will go back into the community to help seniors who can't afford nutritious food.

"We're going to be serving loaves of bread and fresh homemade soups to food-insecure seniors in the community, free of charge," Emily Chan, an intern at Hope Blooms, said in an interview Thursday.

Chan said they held a trial run last week and got positive reviews. 

"We originally started with four clients and on our route around the whole community, we actually picked up one more. And so this week we have five to six clients," she said. 

The pilot program runs until November.

Hope's been blooming for 10 years

"Hopefully next year, we could get more clients and get our message out there about food insecurity in the community," Chan said.

The group, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in June, grabbed national attention back in 2013 with a winning pitch on CBC's Dragon's Den for the salad dressing made from crops grown in an abandoned neighbourhood lot.  

Hope Blooms, which started in 2008, has expanded to produce four types of salad dressings, and has a storefront location in central Halifax. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

Hope Blooms founder Jessie Jollymore said this latest project is building relationships between young people and those who have lived in the area for generations.

"You are expanding your support network," she said. 

Jollymore said the hard work of the junior leaders should have a "ripple effect."

"It's very empowering to be able to have an impact through your own actions in the community you live in," she said. 

About the Author

After spending more than a decade as a reporter covering the Nova Scotia legislature, Amy Smith joined CBC News in 2009 as host for CBC Nova Scotia News as well as Atlantic Tonight at 11. She can be reached at or on Twitter @amysmithcbc