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Moose Jaw Express launches 'The Five-Foot Food Challenge' to support the food bank

On April 5, the Moose Jaw Express launched a new community project with the purpose of getting fresh, healthy garden produce to anyone in the community who is currently experiencing food insecurity called 'The Five Foot Food Challenge'
The Moose Jaw Express is announcing the launch of "The Five Foot Food Challenge," which aims to provide fresh, locally-sourced produce in support of the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank.

On April 5, the Moose Jaw Express launched a new community initiative with the purpose of getting fresh, healthy garden produce to anyone in the community who is currently experiencing food insecurity.

The new project is now accepting registrations and will help fill a food donation gap at the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank every fall between the Better Together food drive on Oct. 31 and the CPKC Holiday Train food drive in December.

“The Five-Foot Food Challenge” is the brainchild of Krista McDonald at the Moose Jaw Express and she’s asking for the community’s help. The challenge includes both individuals and businesses wishing to donate a five-by-five square foot area to grow a single crop to donate to the food bank.

“I think it’s no secret that people are struggling with the cost of groceries right now. If we can get fresh, healthy food into the hands of people who need it most – all while connecting a community through gardening — we think that’s pretty great,” McDonald said.

“The food bank does an outstanding job, and we really just want to support them this summer. If all goes according to plan, this will be a yearly challenge that we hope the community can stand behind.

“Plus,” she added, “Gardening is great for mental health and relaxation. Who doesn’t need more of that!”

To top it off, this produce will be fresh, locally sourced, and healthy.

To participate, the first step is to register with McDonald for the challenge. Once your registration has been confirmed, you can stop by the projects’ partner Cornell Design & Landscaping to pick up designated seeds and plants at a discount. 

Next, all you have to do is maintain the garden until the produce is ready to eat.

“When the produce is ready to harvest, we will happily come pick it up — or you’re welcome to stop by and drop it off at the food bank directly,” she said.

Each crop is carefully selected for its shelf life and longevity. The challenge will accept potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, squash, turnips, beets, and beans.

“We want people to get creative,” she said. “The space doesn’t have to be in a traditional garden plot – it can be five feet out of your lawn, in a dedicated raised bed, in tubs, or in virtually any other type of (food-friendly) container.

“It’s possible for anyone with a little patch of sunlight to get started,” McDonald added.

The Express is now asking for community partners to get on board with the challenge. Peavey Mart is the first business to officially sign on and McDonald hopes this example will be followed by others in the weeks to come.

To provide ongoing support and community engagement, a new Facebook page called ‘The Five Foot Food Challenge’ has been created. Here, participants can exchange gardening tips and tricks, give support to first-time gardeners, and supporters can exchange seeds, plants, or containers as needed.

To unlock special seed pricing at Cornell Design & Landscaping, registration for the challenge is needed. To register, contact Krista at 306-694-1322 or by email at

The Express will be on location at Cornell's greenhouse to accept registrations on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Cornell Design & Landscaping is located 11 kilometres south of Moose Jaw along Highway 2 and can be reached at 306-693-8733.

The Moose Jaw Express is located at 468 High Street West and the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank is located at 270 Fairford Street West.

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