North Okanagan food box program’s rebirth a success

Good Food Box program enjoys solid six months after nearly being scrapped

So far, so good.

The newly restored Good Food Box program in the North Okanagan is happy to declare that the first six months of its restoration have been a sustainable success.

“We at the Good Food Box very much appreciate the generous support of sponsors including Hytec – A Kohler Company, grants from local governments and the ongoing support from social agencies that have helped us get underway again and be sustainable,” said president Donna Antonishak.

“Thanks to our sponsors and our dedicated group of volunteers, we are able to continue this worthwhile program – a monthly volunteer-run, non-profit, bulk produce-buying initiative which helps families of all budget levels include more fresh fruits and vegetables into their meals.”

The Good Food Box program first began in the Okanagan in August of 2000 with Antonishak and Diane Fleming spearheading the idea of getting affordable, fresh produce into more homes. This program operated right up till March of 2018. The new Good Food Box Society of the North Okanagan was formed in April of this year after the previous funding body cancelled its funding and support.

RELATED: Good Food Box program shelved

RELATED: Good Food Box program readies for return

Despite the sudden changes, everyone at the grassroots level of the Good Food Box worked diligently to ensure the program continued with as little disruption as possible to those who purchase the low-cost monthly box of fruits and vegetables. Both Antonishak and Fleming are still with the program to this day, along with a large, dedicated volunteer base and a new board of directors:

President: Donna Antonishak;

Vice-President: Tara Bradley;

Secretary: Christine Fraser;

Treasurer: Bill Hickey;

Program Coordinator: Diane Fleming.

The economical cost of the Good Food Box is made possible through group-buying at wholesale prices.

“The larger the number of boxes ordered, the more we are able to put towards sustaining the program,” said Bradley. “Produce is ordered from local wholesalers and farmers. The selection of produce in the box changes with what fruits and veggies are in-season and available.”

Good Food Boxes come in two sizes: large boxes which are suitable for a household of three or more and small boxes which are suitable for a household of one or two.

A Sustainable Box is also available.

“This is a large box, of which three dollars is donated for program costs,” said Bradley.

Both sizes of boxes are available in the areas served: Vernon, Westside, Armstrong, Falkland, Lumby and Cherryville. Deliveries are available in Vernon for those with limited mobility for a small fee.

The boxes are distributed the third Thursday of every month. Orders must be placed and paid for by the Wednesday before; this is usually the second Wednesday of the month. See the website for order cut-off dates, distribution dates, pickup locations and times.

There are two ways to Order a Good Food Box:

1. Visit one of the payment locations at the times shown on the society’s website and pay by cash.

2. Order by email and pay by e-transfer. Payment must be received no later than midnight, second Wednesday of the month. Payments received after that will be applied to the next month.

To Pay by E-Transfer

Email goodfoodboxok@gmail.com with:

• Name

• Telephone number

• Pick up location

• Quantity and size of boxes

• The answer to your security question *Please note that this information must be included EACH time you order

• Send eTransfer to the email address in the correct total $ amount

Each holiday season (and throughout the year) the Good Food Box invites the community to consider the opportunity for individuals and organizations to sponsor Good Food Boxes for families or individuals. Please consider “Giving the Gift of Healthy Eating.” You can give people the monthly gift of healthy produce, thereby helping people in your own communities get more fresh fruits and vegetables on the table.

For more information on sponsoring boxes, you can find us at the JCI Alternative Gift Fair on Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Schubert Center, on the website at www.goodfoodbox.net, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoodFoodBoxNorthOkanagan;email us at goodfoodboxok@gmail.com or call Diane Fleming, Coordinator of the Good Food Box at 250-306-7800.

The society says a special thank you to Sea Horse Solutions for their years of assistance with the webpage.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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