Campbell Riverites will soon have the chance to have fresh food packaged and ready for them thanks to Greenways Land Trust as they’re working to expand their Good Food Box program to the city.
The Good Food Box program started in late 2020 in Gold River, which was expanded to Zeballos this week and will be coming to Campbell River and Sayward in the future. The program was also running as a pilot in Kyuquot. A similar program in Tahsis was also brought under the umbrella of the Greenways program. The goal is to make good food accessible to everyone, regardless of situation.
“Food equity is really important. I think everybody should have access to healthy food, regardless of economic standing or where you live,” said Good Food Box and Conservation Project Coordinator Katharine Lavoie. “I think right now it’s really important to get healthy food to remote communities because a lot of people don’t want to travel to high population areas and chance it going back to remote communities. And it’s the winter, so a lot of people are physically having a hard time getting into town for groceries.”
“The point is to help make fresh and healthy food accessible who are perhaps experiencing more challenges during COVID,” she added. “In the remote communities, a lot of people are not willing to leave and go to high population areas, some people are having financial hardship.”
Lavoie said her goal is to have all of the individual programs run autonomously, and each one is going to be tailored to the individual communities. To that end, she created a survey to let people in Campbell River express exactly what they would like from a program like this.
“In the Tahsis program, they already had an existing program and they wanted to have the same thing in every order with a couple of things changing up. Whereas in Gold River it was kind of that they wanted new things every couple of weeks,” she said. “The other thing I wanted to figure out with the survey was how many people one box served for the whole two weeks. I’m hoping to get some more information on that.”
How the program works is people sign up to take part, and pick up the boxes at a central location. Lavoie said that the program is accessible to everyone, and that subsidies are available for families who need them.
Lavoie added that the program “makes [food] physically accessible to people. I have some people who have stopped insuring their vehicles because things have been really hard this year due to COVID. They can’t actually physically get somewhere. It also makes it financially available for some people… It’s more available to a broader range of people.”
The Campbell River Good Food Box still needs a Coordinator, who will run the program at the local level. After that position is filled, Lavoie said she would like to get things up and running as quickly as possible. She is also looking for volunteers to assist with the program. Those interested can sign up online, or email Lavoie at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the program will be made available at their Facebook Page.
“I’d like to set it up so that all the programs can kind of work together. I think that if it goes well in Campbell River it will help the other programs continue,” she said. “I hope that it is used by everybody… It’s been great to see everyone’s reactions about trying new things, having more access to fresh food. People have been sharing their recipes of what they’ve been making on our Facebook pages, there’s one per community. I hope that the program can help alleviate some stress that people are feeling directly or indirectly from COVID, be that travelling stress, financial stress, etc.”
This story has been edited. A previous version said that boxes were delivered to houses. Boxes are actually to be picked up at a central location.