Kathryn Juricic of Fernwood NRG says so many other food drive programs this time of year focus on non-perishable items, so The Gift of Good Good focuses on providing fresh produce. Photo courtesy of Fernwood NRG

Victoria’s Gift of Good Food program, a holiday offering for the whole year

Fernwood NRG aims to raise $75,000 to provide fresh produce for families in need

Around this time each year, the phrase “non-perishable food item” can seem like it’s everywhere. Food banks, donation drives and countless others reach out to the community in an effort to help those less fortunate whose need for basic necessities is greater during the holidays.

For three years, the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group has taken that notion and put its unique stamp on it with The Gift of Good Food program, raising funds during the holiday season in order to provide healthy, fresh produce to families year round.

The program works with community partners from Sooke to Saanich to provide “The Good Food Box” to selected families facing poverty every two weeks. The cost to support a family for a year is $500, says Kathryn Juricic, program co-ordinator. That provides 12 to 15 items of fresh produce per box, coming from partners like Michell Bros. Farm and The Root Cellar.

“One in seven families or households are food insecure,” Juricic says. “I think the need is largely invisible. People aren’t necessarily sharing with everyone that they can’t feed their children a proper meal or that they’re having canned food all the time.”

This year, the program aims to raise $75,000, which would mean supporting 150 families throughout 2018.

“It’s created to be a food access program so it’s the most affordable food box program in the city,” Juricic explains. “The more money we raise and the more boxes we have every week, the more that is going to be inside the box.”

The families receiving The Gift of Good Food are chosen by the 15 community centres and organizations that are participating in the fundraiser. “They know these people and they know their families and they know they need it,” Juricic says, pointing out the contents of the food boxes are a good supplement to other food hamper programs.

“When you hear stories of kids that not only learn about fruits and vegetables, but get excited about them and how to make them and are eating them consistently through the whole year, that’s the best,” she says. “We’ve had stories of weight loss and confidence boosting, they do better in school and they have more friends.”

To donate to the program, visit thegoodfoodbox.ca/donate where the campaign will run until Dec. 31 at midnight. The website also contains information on other ways to offer your support.


Just Posted

Last chance to say hello to the future

Saanich 150 time capsule on display at municipal hall

WANTED: VicPD seeks car owner in assault investigation

Driver of Hyandai Santa Fe described as 6 foot Caucasian male, late 30s

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

Saanich makes appeal for regional fire dispatch system

Five CRD communities drop Saanich service in favour of Surrey

Large Kinder Morgan pipeline protest at Victoria MP office

Dozens gathered out front of Murray Rankin’s constituency office Friday to protest Trans Mountain pipeline

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

27th anniversary for the disappearance of Michael Dunahee

Parents hosting annual fun run on March 25

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Public warned not to eat herring eggs harvested from French Creek to Qualicum Bay

Island Health reports vibrio cholerae infection linked to eating herring eggs

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Most Read