The Gift of Good Food is providing over 75 families with a year’s supply of fruits and vegetables

›› Mila Czemerys

The Gift of Good Food ­fundraiser was an overwhelming ­success. Together, we raised over $38,000! [UPDATE: We’ve raised over $43,000 due to a donation we recieved in Janaury 2016] That is more than three times the amount raised last year. Every dollar raised will ­provide Good Food Boxes for over 75 ­families across the Capital Region. In 2016, we will provide 10 tons of fresh veggies and fruit to families who need it. Over 260 people donated to this cause including local businesses, offices, friends, families, and neighbours.

Fernwood NRG has selected families who access our Family Resource Programs and Best Babies Program. We also teamed up with George Jay Elementary School’s family liaison to select local families with children attending their school. Our eight partner organizations’ family resource workers have selected families who access their programs to receive this gift. Every two weeks, these families will have the peace of mind that they will be receiving fresh, healthy produce for themselves and their children.

Shonna Bell, our Family Programs Coordinator, said “I think this ­fundraiser is important because families we ­support don’t always have access to a reliable amount of fresh fruit and veggies.” She shared that the families selected were ­overwhelmed with relief. They felt pressure and stress being alleviated because they knew the box would be there every two weeks. “It’s such a significant impact for them” she said.

Our neighbourhood and neighbourhoods across the Capital Regional District came together to help those around us who could use a little extra support. Money was raised through a cake walk, karaoke night, house concert, and pub quiz to name a few.

Alan Pang and The Savoury Café donated all their coffee and tea sales from an entire day to the cause. Both ­Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. and Hoyne ­Brewing Co. donated proceeds from their tasting rooms for all of December. Goo Goo ­Goggles sold gift cards and donated the proceeds to this fundraiser. The ­Fernwood Inn sold t-shirts with partial proceeds going to The Gift of Good Food. The Fernwood Yoga Den donated the ­proceeds from their Karma Yoga classes.

One inspiring young girl decided to go door to door to ask her neighbours to donated and support a family. Thanks Team Raven! There were families that decided to forgo Christmas presents this year and donate the money they would have spent on presents to The Gift of Good Food. Another amazing individual hosted a hamper making party and asked guests to bring cash donations for The Gift of Good Food.

Many groups worked together with the goal to raise enough money to support a family for a year including Orca Book ­Publishers, Intrepid Theatre, The Choir, Island Health, UVic Continuing Studies, AGRI, CILSFM French Radio Station, Thrive Yoga, VCDF, and the ­Oncology Unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Our friends at Aubergine Specialty Foods, Vegas ­Convenience Store, Soma Active Health, Larsen Music and Fernwood Health & ­Performance collected donations at their tills.

Local businesses donated funds to ­support this fundraiser including The Vitamin Shop, Baggins Shoes, Investors Group, Café Brio, Pigeonhole Home Store, ­Seastar Chemicals Inc., Hillside Dental, Wide Awake Heart, The Local General Store, and Silver Spoon Financial Inc..

There are countless stories of generosity and cooperation but there is not enough space to share them all here. We have so much gratitude for each person who decided to take part in this fundraising effort. It is with a full heart, we thank each and every person for your donations.

Email if you are interested in being involved with the fundraiser next year. For more ­information about the Good Food Box, check out ­

Special thanks to Kathryn Juricic for all your hard work with this fundraiser—good luck with your next adventures in life!