Good food boxes offer healthy alternative

Healthy food for everyone — that’s the aim of the Good Food Box program

Healthy food for everyone — that’s the aim of the Good Food Box program, organized by Blackfalds Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

Now in the second year of operation, the program is needed more than ever, offering families or individuals a bin of quality vegetables and fruit twice a month.

The program’s goal is to encourage the community to eat healthy foods at an affordable price, said Sue Bornn, Blackfalds FCSS manager.

Each bin includes a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, apples, melons, onions, lettuce or celery.

“The value is always better than the purchase price,” said Bornn.

The Blackfalds Good Food Box program began as a suggestion from a local pharmacist, who saw the benefi ts of having such a program in the town.

“They thought it would be awesome to have a similar program to the Lacombe FCSS program,” said Bornn.

The Lacombe-based Good Food Box program is quite successful and has matured over time, explained Bornn. Using a similar template, Blackfalds FCSS piggybacked off the Lacombe program at fi rst to build the program and gauge community interest.

The Blackfalds Good Food Box program fi rst began as a three-month pilot, until the need to support such a program was identified along with securing a local food supplier partnership with Blackfalds Family Foods.

“The program is available to everyone,” said Bornn.

To participate, all you have to do is sign up in advance and then return on the second or fourth Tuesday to the Blackfalds FCSS to pick up your bin.

“They let us know and then come in a pay for it,” said Bornn. “That makes it worthwhile for us to do it.”

Some individuals may also be eligible for subsidized programming, like those on AISH or on income support.

“If they are eligible, once a month, through a sponsor in the community, we can ensure they have access to good food,” said Bornn.

FCSS is always in search of new community sponsors as some weeks there may be up to 10 sponsored boxes picked up from the Blackfalds location.

Bornn said some weeks over a dozen individuals pick up a good food box. Other weeks, there may be a smaller amount of pickups.

Either way, the need for fresh and accessible food is here, and that continues to spur on the program.

Since it’s a fee-for-service program ran through FCSS, each bin does come with a cost, but is offered at an affordable price, with a large order costing $25 and a smaller order costing $12.50.

For more information, to become a community sponsor or to sign up, contact Blackfalds FCSS at 403-885-6247.