News / Halifax

A bicycle built for food: New Hope Blooms program delivers healthy eats to Halifax seniors

The social enterprise will see kids deliver homemade vegetable soup, fresh bread, and notes of hope to residents.

Hope Blooms members Tolulope Boboye, 12, Bocar Wade, 17, Emily Chan, 23, and Barbara Loppie, 18, gather around their Bicycle Built for Food. The bike is a new social enterprise delivering greens to the North End community, and homemade veggie soup and bread to seniors free of charge.

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Hope Blooms members Tolulope Boboye, 12, Bocar Wade, 17, Emily Chan, 23, and Barbara Loppie, 18, gather around their Bicycle Built for Food. The bike is a new social enterprise delivering greens to the North End community, and homemade veggie soup and bread to seniors free of charge.

Armed with handmade cloth bags, fresh organic greens, homemade soup and loaves of fresh bread, a group of kids on a large tricycle plan to brighten the lives of seniors in need.
 
Bicycle Built for Food is the latest social enterprise to come from successful youth-operated community garden project Hope Blooms.
 
Devised by the project’s newest group of junior leaders who range in age from 10 to 12, Bicycle Built for Food officially launches Thursday.
 
A trial run last week went off without a hitch.
 
“They (junior executives) identified that there were a lot of seniors in the community…and they felt that some of the elders were going without being able to afford anything healthy,” explained Hope Blooms founder Jessie Jollymore.
 
“There’s a large seniors population over 65 in the community and a lot of them are on fixed income, they live in public housing. That was the problem they wanted to solve.”
 
The children decided to start a community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative with help from 10 local businesses. Every Thursday from now until the first of November, youth will cycle to deliver fresh organic greens to the 10 businesses that have purchased CSA memberships.
 
That helps pay for homemade vegetable soup the project’s youth will make, using Hope Blooms garden vegetables. Each litre of soup will include a loaf of fresh bread.
 
The fresh soup and bread will be delivered every week to 10 seniors in need. The youth also decided to include positive, inspirational handwritten notes to each senior with each delivery.
 
“It’s really important to start with social entrepreneurship from an elementary school age. The youth learn even though I’m young and I may not have money, I can work with people and figure out how to make a difference in my world,” Jollymore said.
 
“When you feel that, when you’re part of making a difference, when you see by your own actions that you’re having an impact? That’s very empowering.”
 
Jollymore said they plan to freeze vegetables and will continue delivering the homemade soup to the 10 seniors over the winter months.
 
Next year, they hope to at least double the number of seniors they help through the Bicycle Built for Food initiative.

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