I tried a community shared agriculture (CSA) program in the past but found it to be a little too rigid because I had to sign up for a set amount of time (usually an entire season – however, some CSAs are more flexible). So you can’t believe my surprise when I found out about a fruit and vegetable box program that didn’t require seasonal subscription. It’s called the Good Food Box and it’s run by FoodShare in Toronto.
FoodShare is a non-profit organization that addresses hunger and food security issues so it’s great that I’m supporting them by buying their Good Food Box. Their program is also very flexible in that I can pay each time I want to order a box and don’t have to sign up for a fixed term. However, it’s not a CSA. It’s run like a large buying club where they buy large amounts of produce and distribute it to people who subscribe to their program. They try to choose Ontario products to support the local farmers but also include imported items for variety (which is noted in the information sheets that come with each box).
I took pictures each week of my Good Food Box as a way to document the items that arrived every two weeks. Their boxes range in price from $13 to $34 depending on the box type. They offer small, large, organic and fruit boxes. I signed up for the small box ($13) which provides enough produce to last two weeks (actually, I’m constantly trying to find creative ways to use it up in time for the next delivery). Needless to say, my fruit and vegetable consumption goes way up whenever I’m with the program. I have to admit that the price is really what attracts me to it. I used to get my produce at Chinatown which I find to be one of cheapest places to get produce but at $13 a box, the Good Food Box works out to be even cheaper!
The only downsides are that they don’t deliver to your house – they drop off the orders at certain locations and you have to go pick it up. However, if you are at a location where eight to ten people want to order a box, you can become a drop off centre and have the deliveries arrive at your location. You also aren’t able to customize your box which may be an issue for some people who have food allergies or specific food preferences.
It’s fun to get a box full of produce each week and not know exactly what you’re going to get. It’s like receiving a mystery box and you have to figure out what to make with it. It encourages me to eat more fruits and vegetables and the price can’t be beat. Plus proceeds go to a great organization. It’s win-win all around.
Do you have a fruit and vegetable delivery program in your area that you’d like to recommend? Share it with us in the comments below!