Thousands of Winnipeggers are regularly accessing fresh and affordable fruits and veggies thanks to the Good Food Box.
Twice a month, approximately 300 pre-ordered boxes are distributed from about 20 easily-accessible community depots. Boxes come in three sizes: individual ($8), small ($15) and family ($20). The program works by purchasing food in large quantities and distributing it with very little markup, thanks in part to the dozens of volunteers who help run the program.
“It’s getting good food to people,” says program coordinator Angela Forget. “It’s a sense of stability for some people. I think it’s community building and a stress-reliever.”
Interestingly here in Winnipeg, the most common size of Good Food Box requested is the large. This differs from Good Food Box programs in other cities such as Toronto, where the most common size is individual.
“This means a lot more families [in Winnipeg] are using it, which is really exciting since a lot more children are being exposed to more healthy food,” Forget says.
The program has been operating in Winnipeg’s West Broadway community for 10 years, and with recent support from The Winnipeg Foundation, expanded a year ago to include other neighbourhoods, including two depots in St. Vital.
According to Forget there is high demand for additional depot locations throughout the city, but at this time their hands are full meeting existing expectations. Further expansion may come later if the organization can grow its capacity.
What’s in a Good Food Box?
Good Food Boxes utilize local and in-season produce whenever possible.
Here are the sample contents of a family-sized box:
- 6 large navel oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1 head garlic
- 1 piece ginger
- 2 pounds bananas
- 1 cantaloupe
- 6 apples (BC)
- 1 head celery
- 2 cucumbers (local)
- 2 green peppers
- 1 head broccoli (local)
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 3 pounds cooking onions (local)
- 2 pounds carrots (local)
- 4 pounds red potatoes (local)
- 3 pounds beets (local)
- 1 large acorn squash (local)
For more information about the Good Food Box go to: winnipegfoodsharecoop.org/