NANAIMO — An essential program ensuring affordable, healthy meals in Nanaimo will continue long into the future thanks to community fundraising and support.
The Good Food Box program offered by Nanaimo Foodshare, which offers $10 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables once a month, faced an uncertain future at the end of 2018. The program faced a $20,000 shortfall after losing longstanding provincial funding earlier in the year.
By mid-April, however, Nanaimo Foodshare executive director Jen Cody was pleased to share the registered charity fundraised money enough to cover the shortfall and it will also receive a provincial grant.
“We now have an ability to expand what we're able to offer in the community,” Cody told NanaimoNewsNOW.
Watch how a Good Food Box is put together in the video below:
The planned expansion includes more Good Food Boxes, more locally grown fruits and vegetables inside and also more options for those who experience the $10 cost of a box as a barrier.
The program has grown year over year due to the rising cost of food outpacing salaries, Cody said.
The psychical act of putting the boxes together is also a rewarding community initiative.
The boxes are built and filled by members of the diversability community, who have experienced learning challenges and social isolation.
“It gives people an opportunity to come together,” Cody said. “Everyone has a healthy meal and a great time connecting with others. They create a real sense of community around the whole process of putting the box together.”
Cody said every month when boxes are handed out, she hears people say how the Good Food Box is their only source of healthy meals and they would struggle signficantly without ith.
Good Food Boxes can be ordered online here.
On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit
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