The Good Food Box program ensures Greater Victoria families in need will receive fresh fruits and vegetables for an entire year.
Right now, the program is fundraising for 2019, through their Gift of Good Food campaign.
“Today is the last day that families are receiving Good Food Boxes from last year’s fundraiser” says Kathryn Juricic, Gift of Good Food Coordinator.
“The Good Food Box is a wholesale, affordable, fruits and veggies distribution agency that’s run by the [Fernwood] community centre, and gets distributed throughout Greater Victoria.”
The program is nearly 20 years old, and aside from a handful of staff members, is completely volunteer.
“It was started by a group of single moms” says Juricic. “They just wanted to get affordable produce, so they started a wholesale bulk-buying agency.”
Jenna Lane is administrative coordinator for Fernwood Neighbourhood Group, better known as Fernwood NRG, which manages the program. “We buy from the Root Cellar and Michell Farms. We try to have as much local as we can, but it is seasonal.”
The non-profit program partners with 16 organizations across Greater Victoria, such as 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre, Bridges for Women, James Bay Community Project, Sooke Family Resource Society, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, and Saanich Neighbourhood Place. Those organizations select families in need to receive the boxes of fresh produce every two weeks, for an entire year.
And while it’s almost entirely volunteer, including volunteer drivers who deliver the boxes, the program needs cash to continue. Every $500 raised provides fruits and vegetables to one family for the year.
“Last year we raised $82,000, and provided fresh food for 165 families all year. This year we’re trying to raise $80,000” says Juricic.