|Loving Spoonful's Exective Director Mara Shaw |
has made a resolution to do a volunteer stint at each
of the local food providers that help ensure food is available
to those in need. In February 2013 she volunteered at
the Good Food Box and submits this report.
Good Good Food
First the onions. Check them over to make sure they are as nice as any you would buy your family and put a 2-lb bag in the box. Zip the box down the assembly line rollers (to a nice chick-chick-chick sound) for Cindy to add the bright orange carrots before Max puts in dark green onions and red bell peppers.
From all walks of life, volunteers gather on the 3rd Thursday of every month around coordinator Mary Wood to prepare The Good Food Boxes. A huge load of produce from Tony Deodato & Sons Ltd arrives and is strategically stacked around the QECVI basement room. An enormous extendable roller assembly is stretched across the room and everyone takes their places between "their" produce and the rollers and waits for every last station to be ready. Suddenly it begins. We pack crisp lettuce, juicy pears and ruddy mushrooms into boxes that are distributed across the city and beyond to increase the fresh food in homes. Amidst laughter and music, within 2 hours, it's done. All the orders are filled and taken to pick-up sites across the county: north to Sharbot Lake, east to Lansdowne, west to Napanee, and throughout Kingston. (If your agency, church or location can provide a host site, please contact Mary).
"The Good Food Box is a brilliant concept, serving over 1,000 people a month," says GFB organizer Mary Wood who coordinates the activities for this initiative (which is heavily supported by Kingston Community Health Centres). "It's fresh food at wholesale prices. There are four choices available 1) a large box for $15 that contains 12-15 different kinds of produce, including 10-lbs of potatoes, 2) a small box, 3) a fruit bag and 4) a veggie bag."
"Orders are paid for at the beginning of the month and always available for pickup on the 3rd Thursday, when budgets are tighter and healthy food is hard to afford." As fresh food prices soar, everyone is finding affordable fresh food to be a godsend."
Loving Spoonful salutes Good Food Box Kingston, Mary and all of the GFB Kingston volunteers, for the role they play in enhancing food security in the region. "If I had one wish," Mary said, "it would be that more people would know about the program and feel welcome to purchase a box. The Good Food Box is available to everyone."
Since 1999, the Foundation has provided over $ 11,321 in grants to the Good Food Box and $11,500 to Loving Spoonful for a variety of projects from our Community Grants. We also have several endowments that provide support to local food providers, for example Regina Rosen's Food First Fund. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613 546 9696 to find out more about these organizations or how you can contribute to them.