›› Kathryn Juricic & Mila Czemerys

Our generous neighbourhood has, once again, outdone itself in supporting The Gift of Good Food. Together, through ­grassroots fundraisers, hundreds of ­community members and lots of creativity, we raised $64,000!

Thank you, on behalf of the eleven community centres and transition houses, from Sooke to Saanich, for helping us provide 125 families with Good Food Boxes for this entire year. Consistent fresh produce for all is a big step towards a thriving community.

In true Fernwood style, yoga studios and local craft breweries were by our side the whole time. Hoyne Brewing Co. and Phillips Brewing Co. were bookends of the campaign with Hoyne opening and ­Phillips capping it off with their tasting station ­donations, totaling over $3,000!

Yogis came through with good karma, from acro-yoga classes to karma yoga months and first class by-­donation. A ­special thank you to ONE Yoga, ­Lululemon ­Victoria, Moksha Yoga ­Westshore, Ashtanga Yoga Victoria and The Fernwood Yoga Den.

Other special events held around town include an art show at BULLY Design Co., Oaklands West Coast Winter Market door donations, their fundraiser at the Copper Owl and Benji’s Pub Quiz at Northern Quarter. You came together to creatively fundraise through house concerts, holiday party donations, wreath making, a sit-a-thon, and more, all to get healthy veggies to families who need them.

We had 30 incredible fundraising ­captains who pulled together over $10,000 by advocating for The Gift of Good Food to their family, friends and coworkers. Over 200 people came through the Fernwood Community Centre to donate in person and $25,500 was donated online. All in all, it was a great success!

Back in 2014, a couple Fernwood NRG staff members thought it would be a good idea to raise money so families in Fernwood could receive Good Food Boxes. We sent out letters to a handful of businesses in the neighbourhood and asked friends and ­family to support. It resonated and we were overjoyed to have raised $11,000.

The next year, we partnered with eight community centres and with the generosity of people from across the Greater Victoria, 90 families were provided this gift in 2016.

This year, The Gift of Good Food ­partnered with 11 community hubs and will be supporting 125 families with fresh produce throughout 2017. Thank you for the support of the growth of this fundraiser; we believe it provides an important piece of support to members of our community.

We extend our gratitude on behalf of our fellow family support workers and ­families who receive this gift. You can be sure all donations we receive will make a difference to the health and wellness of children and parents in a meaningful way. One family who received this gift shared, “You make a difference! Not just a one time difference either, every time I open my fridge, every time my four year old raids the fruit bowl, you have made a difference and ­we thank you!”