Good Food Box
The Good Food Box (GFB) is a non-profit fresh fruit and vegetable distribution system created and operated by FoodShare. The GFB runs like a large buying club with centralized buying and coordination. Individuals place orders for boxes with volunteer coordinators in their neighbourhood and receive a box brimming with fresh, tasty produce, on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly cycle.
Customers benefit from the cost savings of bulk buying and time saved by this distribution method. Produce is touched by fewer hands, gets to them faster, and costs less. This means purchasing high quality, fresh food is within reach of many more people than the regular retail system.
We choose Ontario-grown products whenever possible because we want to know where and how our food is produced, support local farmers, and reduce the fossil fuels burned. Customers pay the cost of the food itself and some of the delivery costs, while the United Way and other public and private supporters subsidize distribution overheads. Each box is accompanied by a newsletter that offers nutrition information, as well as easy and economical food preparation tips.
For more information on the Good Food Box or to find a drop-off near you email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416.363.6441 x275.
How much does it cost?
Customers pay between $13 and $34 depending on the box type they choose to purchase.
What's in each box?
Every Good Food Box is filled with top-quality fruits and vegetables from local farmers and the Ontario Food Terminal. Each box contains the same mixture of produce, though the contents change with each delivery depending on what is in season and reasonably priced at the time. Please note that we cannot offer substitutions in the Good Food Box, as keeping contents fixed keeps program costs low.
Our priorities in choosing Good Food Box contents are: quality, value, culturally appropriate food, local and seasonal, sustainable growing practices, reduced packaging, and fair trade.
How are boxes packed and delivered?
Foodshare volunteers, together with volunteers from the United Way and private sector pack the boxes each week, and our drivers deliver them to neighbourhood drop-off locations, where local volunteer coordinators collect money in advance of delivery, and make sure that everyone gets their box after it arrives. We deliver to daycares, apartment buildings, churches – anywhere there are 8-10 people who want to buy a box.
What are the impacts of this program?
Established in February 1994 with just 47 boxes, the FoodShare's Good Food Box program now distributes approximately 4,000 Good Food Boxes each month through about 200 neighbourhood drops.
Professional evaluation of The Good Food Box shows that participating in the program helps people access a more nutritious diet. It is now thought that up to 70% of deaths result from diseases that have a diet-related dimension, and there is mounting evidence that eating enough fruit and vegetables is key to preventing disease. Not only is it a matter of justice that everyone should have access to the food they need to keep healthy, but it also makes sense because of enormous costs to the health care system that result from treating these diseases.
The Good Food Box makes top-quality, fresh food available in a way that does not stigmatize people, fosters community development and promotes healthy eating.
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