The Good Food Box program is back, after getting more funding from the United Way to help subsidize costs.
The Good Food Box program is a bi-weekly food box program run by Greenways Land Trust. It is set up in multiple Strathcona Regional District communities. People sign up every two weeks for a box, which are prepared by volunteers and readied for pick up at a specific time. Subsidies were initially available for folks who needed them, but back in October, the program announced that they would be taking a hiatus.
Funding had run out from the initial run, and though they tried to continue without being able to subsidize the boxes, programmer Katherine Lavoie said that the need for the subsidy was too much.
“We tried to keep going for a bit without the subsidy, but there’s really a huge need for the subsidized portion of the program,” she said. “So we got more funding from the United Way so that we could restart the subsidized portion of the program.”
The good food box program gives people the chance to access fresh fruit and vegetables on a biweekly basis. The higher cost of fresh organic produce can be a barrier to many families, and accessing fresh food can be difficult in the more remote communities.
“Apart from making food physically accessible in the remote communities, in both the remote communities and in Campbell River there’s a need for financially accessible food,” Lavoie said. “The subsidized boxes make it more accessible for people who otherwise have a hard time affording healthy food.”
“A lot of the really processed food that’s financially accessible to a lot of people is also what’s accessible in communities where it’s hard to deliver things with quick expiry dates,”she said. “We are also running a program in Zeballos, and getting things like lettuce is really popular there. Keeping lettuce around in Zeballos is kind of a challenge.”
Food boxes were packed and distributed on Monday, though people were able to pick up boxes on Tuesday as well, due to the snow. Another box will be ready after two weeks.
“If there are community partners who are interested in keeping paper copies of order forms that we could collect, we’d be interested in that,” Lavoie said. “We don’t currently have anybody who wants to do that right now.”