The Ottawa Good Food Box is a non-profit community-based initiative bringing neighbours together to buy a variety of delicious and nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. It works like a large buying club with centralized buying and coordination. Our goal is to purchase food that is in season and is grown close to home as possible.
Once a month customers place their orders with Site Coordinators in their neighbourhood. A variety of products are available. Customers choose the box type depending on family size and preference. A delivery truck brings the boxes to neighbourhood drop-offs, where local Site Coordinators ensure that customers pick-up their boxes. A newsletter with nutrition tips, recipes and information about the program is included in every box.
The organization relies heavily upon community volunteer support to carry out its services. Volunteers acquire new skills such as record keeping, team building, time management, banking, financial management and food handling, which are all integral elements of operating the Good Food Box.
The Ottawa Good Food Box is supported by the Centretown Community Health Centre.
The Good Food Box concept is based on a very successful program developed by Food Share Toronto’s Field to Table Program that started in 1994 with only 40 boxes. Field to Table now delivers approximately 4000 boxes per month in the Toronto Area. Many communities from coast to coast have developed their own version of the Good Food Box, responding to local needs and circumstances.
The Ottawa Good Food Box was developed in 1996 by a group of Community Developers and Community Nutritionists as a way of reaching out to those in the community who were not accessing adequate fresh fruits and vegetables.