Once a month people in Williams Lake can access a large box of fresh fruit and vegetables for $15 thanks to the continued efforts of the Good Food Box program coordinated by the Women’s Contact Society.
In its 10th year, the program continues to grow and is presently feeding about 130 to 140 people, said Carmen Kallman who has been co-ordinating the program for four years.
“The price of produce has doubled in the last few months,” Kallman said Tuesday morning at her office. “The boxes used to cost us $25, now they cost $50.”
Although the program is geared to help people in need, Kallman noted there’s no need requirement and if more people buy into the program then she has more money to spend on it.
A typical box contains celery, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, bananas and oranges. She purchases everything in bulk at the Wholesale Food Club.
“It’s quite a lot of food,” Kallman said.
People wanting to purchase a box buy tickets at least five days ahead of Good Food Box day, which is always the third Monday of the month between 1 to 3 p.m.
Distribution takes place at the Elks Hall, and to co-ordinate it Kallman has an army of volunteers.
Cool Clear Water helps her deliver all the food to the hall, and then volunteers, some from the Association of Community Living, come to help fill the boxes.
Kallman doesn’t deliver the food, but does have some clients who have people pick the food up for them.
“I have some ladies who come with a cart on wheels to take their food home,” she smiled.
Each year Kallman pursues donations through a Christmas campaign where donors can sponsor the $180 cost for one family’s boxes for a year.
Through donations she has about $500 a month to work with, she said, adding sometimes clients cannot even afford the $15 and can be provided for.
Tickets for the program are available for purchase from the Women’s Contact Society and Canadian Mental Health Association, both located on Fourth Avenue across from Safeway.
Additionally, donations of sponsorship are always appreciated.