Organizers and volunteers for the Good Food Box program gathered recently to celebrate its 10th year of assisting struggling households with healthy food.
A pasta lunch complete with a cake was served at the celebration event, which organizers held to thank those who volunteer their time and efforts to help the program.
The program helps those who need a little financial strain taken off them by organizing large bulk purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables at discount prices. Those who use the program buy in once a month and either pick up or receive a delivery of food once a month at about 10 to 25 per cent cheaper than if purchased straight from the grocery store.
In its humble beginnings the program came from an initiative of the Powell River Employment Program, which is no longer affiliated but donates money toward lunches. These lunches are prepared and eaten by the volunteers as they prepare the food packages. Boxes have been replaced by bags for the most part but the spirit of the program remains.
“We wanted it open and accessible and easy for people to participate in,” said program coordinator Annabelle Tully-Barr. “A hand up, not a hand out.”
The program is sustained almost exclusively by the membership, she said, and all of the food is purchased from Save-On-Foods, which is partnered with the program. Volunteers cover all of the leg work, including delivering food to those unable to come and pick it up.
Tully-Barr described the volunteers involved as being like a family and she has seen children grow up while helping out the program with their families.
“It seems to work by osmosis or something, we just absorb great people into this group,” she said.