Monday 17 October 2011

Our First Good Food Box

Today we received our first Good Food Box.  The contents are pictured above.  Pretty good for $10.00 I think. 

The Good Food Box program hopes to make wholesome food more affordable for all of its participants.  It operates by buying fresh, top quality produce directly from farmers and from wholesale clubs. (Here in the valley, the program works with the Old Farm Market.) Customers pay the cost of the food itself while distribution overhead is subsidized. 

In Duncan, the Good Food Box program operates through Warmland House, a community facility that provides temporary housing to those struggling to find stable housing, and emergency shelter our community’s homeless.  Assembling the boxes requires 15 to 20 volunteers and 8 hours of labour.  Many of the volunteers are Warmland House clients. 

The food for the Good Food Boxes is bought in bulk and dropped off at the program’s warehouse. Volunteers then divide up the produce into portions and put the boxes together. The boxes contain the maximum amount of produce possible for the price.

Every month, each Good Food Box contains 5 pounds of potatoes and 2 pounds of carrots.  The rest of the contents vary from month to month depending upon what’s seasonally available and offers the best value.  Like CSA boxes, the contents are determined by the program’s operators.  Unlike CSA boxes, Good Food Boxes are sourced from more than one provider, and the program operates on a month-by-month basis.  Customers do not have to sign a subscription for multiple months or for a full season.

There is no qualification requirement for participation in the Good Food Box program.  Poor, middle class or well-to-do; everyone can purchase a Good Food Box. (Or two or three if they want to: There is no limit on quantity purchased.)  The more people who join in, the greater the buying power becomes and the greater the value the program is able to offer its participants. 

If you would like to purchase a Good Food Box here in Duncan, payment must be made at Warmland House by the last business day of the month.  Boxes are distributed on the third Monday of the following month.  If you are not in Duncan, you may still be able to participate in the program.  There are Good Food Box programs all across Canada.  To find one in your area, Google “Good Food Box” followed by your community’s name.

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