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

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.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

food security

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

February 17, 2021 - Kaelyn (L) and Costin Campbell are Goldstream News Gazette 2021 Local Heroes.
Pint-sized duo inspires others to be green

Costin and Kaelyn Campbell are this year’s Environmental Heroes

Erin Oldman received a scholarship through Royal Roads University (RRU), called the Legacy Award, which is given out once every five years. Oldman graduated from RRU with a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding, and is using the award to establish a charity called International Humanitarian Assessments, which helps people in war-torn areas of the Middle East. (Photo contributed by Erin Oldman)
Royal Roads University graduate receives $25,000 award

Erin Oldman will use the award to establish a charity in the Middle East

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read