Article Written by Becky Dumais
Each month, friends and neighbours gather at select community sites to pick up orders from the Halton Fresh Food Box program (HFFB). This non-profit, community-based (and volunteer-driven) program delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to customers at wholesale prices.
The Fresh Food Box is based on the extremely successful program started by Foodshare, Toronto’s Field to Table program. Launched in 1994 with only 40 boxes, they now deliver 4,000 boxes each month in the Toronto area.
With the abundance of local fresh food options available in Halton, every member of the community should have access to healthy and affordable foods. While the program is open to all residents of the Halton region, it focuses particularly on those living on a limited income, including seniors and new Canadians.
The program, part of the Healthy Communities Partnership Halton, manages to provide healthy and affordable food choices for over 27,000 Halton residents! Pre-existing food support programs (such as donation boxes) cannot provide fresh fruits and vegetables, which is why the HFFB fills such an important need.
The organizers of the HFFB have made it very easy for neighbourhoods to establish their own program, especially since they don’t require membership fees or long-term commitments. Programs are initiated by establishing a central order and pick up area. It could be any number of locations, including: an apartment, housing community, church, school, seniors’ center, workplace or social service agency. A site can be started anywhere, as long as there are at least 10 customers and at least one volunteer site coordinator.
The contents of the boxes are seasonal, but always contains a few staples, such as: potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes and apples year-round.
The Summer Food Box, for instance, is 100 per cent locally grown within 100 km and will be packed with corn, zucchini, peppers, field tomatoes, fresh onions, field cucumbers, plums, peaches, Gifford pears, cantaloupe, bunched carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms. All of the produce is sourced exclusively from trusted local suppliers.
There are three different box sizes available: small, medium and large. An $8 box (small) is ideal for singles and small families; the $13 (medium) and $17 (large) boxes are suitable for larger households. Customers may also purchase more than one box per month.
With a program that allows everyone to have access to nutritious foods, the Halton Fresh Food Box program can live up to its vision to provide “Healthy Food for All”.
Did You Know?
Customers of Halton Fresh Food Box receive an average of 50% more produce for their dollars than if they shopped at a grocery store.
Halton Fresh Food Box
662 Guelph Line, Burlington
(905) 634-8645 • haltonfreshfoodbox.com