Fresh, Healthy, Affordable Food for All
“Good Food Boxes” delivered by volunteers to over 35 Ottawa communities
By David King and Janet Man
“The Good Food Box has helped our family to eat healthier food”, says Jeanne Van Lankveld, a Good Food Box purchaser for over a decade.
As one of over 100 Good Food Box initiatives across Canada, Ottawa’s program was established in 1996 to help enable fresh produce to reach more people at affordable prices. The program’s principal sponsor is the Centretown Community Health Centre and is funded by the City of Ottawa.
“Through the strength of our volunteers, we’re proud singles, families, students, and seniors are eating healthier and saving money in over 35 communities we serve,” beamed Natasha Beaudin, one of two part time Good Food Box staff members.
Working like a no membership, wholesale buying club, customers can place an order and pay for five types of boxes either online or through a site volunteer. Orders placed in the first week of the month can be collected two weeks later at one of over 35 community pick up sites. Additional pickups will be created for sites with 10 or more customers and a volunteer coordinator to help manage the program.
With prices ranging from $5 for a fruit bag to $25 for an organic box, customers can enjoy wholesale savings of 30-40%. Staples are included such as carrots, onions, and apples, as well as seasonal produce, such as green beans or strawberries. A helpful newsletter is also provided with recipes, cooking tips, and nutritional information.
As a Savour Ottawa member, the Good Food Box sources produce from local farmers whenever possible, along with healthy fruits and vegetables not available nearby. Customers can enjoy a selection which changes each month to reflect the season and at times have the opportunity try new foods. “I would have never bought mangoes before. When they arrived in the box, my kids tried them and now they are one of their favourites!” laughed Ms. Van Lankveld.
The Good Food Box is a community-based initiative, supported by over 100 volunteers, which helps to keep the boxes affordable, and fulfils another important Good Food Box goal of bringing people together to help one and other.
“We have a family of dedicated volunteer packers, site coordinators and steering committee members,” noted Bryana Katz, the other part time Good Food Box staff member. “Some have generously donated their time for over a decade, and all share the goal of helping to provide fresh, healthy, affordable food for all.”
The Good Food Box is delivered on the third Wednesday of every month. There are several Good Food Box sites that serve the Centrepointe area, including 100 Constellation Drive and Draffin Court. For more information about the Good Food Box please visit our website at www.ottawagoodfoodbox.ca or call 613-860-6767.
David King and Janet Man are dedicated Good Food Box Volunteers.
Here’s what you can expect to find in a Good Food Box. Contents change each month to reflect the season. – Erica Roberts
Staff and volunteers on a farm trip helping a local producer harvest their crops. The Good Food Box sources produce from local farmers whenever possible. – Julie Sells
Dedicated volunteers help pack the Good Food Boxes each month. We’re always looking for helping hands. Get in touch to volunteer! – Natasha Beaudin