The Carlington Summit

Do you run out of food money before the end of the month? Are fresh fruits and vegetables the last items you reach for in the grocery store? Are you frustrated by the seemingly high cost of fresh produce during the winter months?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Ottawa Good Food Box Club could be one step closer to an affordable, healthy diet for you and your family.

The Ottawa Good Food Box Club is a community-based program that brings neighbours together to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in volume. The result? You save! A $10.00 Good Food Box could cost up to $18.00 in a regular grocery store. Anyone can join, and there is no membership fee. All of the work is done by volunteers.

The club has 13 sites around Ottawa where members order and take delivery of their $10 or $15 boxes of fresh produce once a month. Both boxes contain staples like potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and onions as well as fruit such as oranges, apples and bananas. They also offer a good variety of other fresh produce, depending on the season and on the supplier's stock.

The $10 box is designed keeping in mind small families, senior citizens, students and one-person households. The $15 box, with its larger quantities, is ideal for bigger families.

While most members join to help stretch their food budget, others take part because of the variety and convenience. Many members are also listening to health experts who recommend eating 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit every day. Some studies have shown that eating this amount can reduce susceptibility to cancer by up to 20%!

Here is how the Good Food Box works in Carlington. You order and pay for your choice of box before the 3rd week of the month. On the 3rd Wednesday of the month, the supplier delivers the produce to the packing site where volunteers check the food quality and pack the boxes. There are several sites where you can pick up the Good Food Box in the Carlington area, making fresh produce more accessible for everyone!

For more information on the Carlington Good Food Box Club, please call Tracey at 722-4000 ext. 245.