Access to fresh fruit and veggies important as Victoria joins most expensive cities in B.C.

›› Mila Czemerys

It was a successful year for the Gift of Good Food fundraiser. We aimed to raise $100,000 and exceeded this goal by over $50,000. These funds are currently supporting over 225 families with fresh fruit and vegetables. Thank you!

Every year, funds raised support year-long access to fresh fruits and vegetables for families facing food insecurity throughout Greater Victoria. We work with the Good Food Box to bulk purchase fresh produce from local farmers and distributors. The Good Food Box volunteers pack and distribute Good Food Boxes to communities across the region. The Gift of Good Food partners community centers, transition houses, grassroots food justice organizations, immigrant and refugee support organizations, and local First Nations to reach their most vulnerable community members.

We want to thank our 624 donors, 28 fundraising teams, and 18 partner ­organizations! This truly was a group effort.

Thank you to our crew of volunteers who make the Gift of Good Food possible with everything from putting together the Good Food Box newsletter, delivering Good Food Boxes to people’s homes, putting posters up around the town to spread the word, reaching out for silent auction items, and to dropping donations letters on doorsteps in the neighbourhood.

Thank you to all our amazing fundraising teams! You raised 28% of donations for the campaign. Thank you Ballamarama, DockStars!, Fernwood Community Association, Fernwood NRG Board, Fernwood Social Run Club, Foodraising Crew, Fouracres & Jenkins, Grant St. Neighbours, Handley/Good Family and Friends, Klezbians Kornukopia, Oaklands Community Association, Orca Book Publishers, Quadra Village Community Centre, Rings of Good Food, Rise Health, Ruffin’ It Family, Saanich Community Health Services, Saanich Peninsula Hamper Party, Santa’s Surveyors, Sooke Santa Puppies, Team Sustainability BC/YT, The Better Bureaucrats, The Drake Eatery, The Joy Pod, The Spirit of Giving, Thurber Engineering, Vic West Food Security Collective, and We Donate Produce All-year. You hosted a fundraiser run, holiday gatherings, made cute fundraising videos and fruit themed ­photoshoots, a hamper party, and more. Thanks for your creativity and energy.

Thanks to staff for going above and beyond to ensure families has access to fresh produce. Thanks to all our partner organizations for your support.

Thank you to the small businesses who donated items to our online auction and to those who hosted donation boxes. Thanks to Metropol for sponsoring our printing needs, Discovery Coffee and Goo Goo Goggles for donating a portion of your sales on donation days, The Natural Hair Salon for matching donations at your salons, and Hoyne Brewing Co. for ­collecting ­donations at your tasting ­station.

Thanks to anyone we’ve missed!

In a year of rising food costs and inflation, the Gift of Good Food program feels as important as ever. Our city has surpassed Vancouver as one of the most expensive place to live in BC according to a report by Living Wage for Families BC. Though this reality affects everyone who lives here, it especially squeezes vulnerable families and forces hard choices about what they can afford to put on the table. The funds we raised together ensure that we can continue to support these families by providing consistent access to fresh, high quality food.

For anyone who is personally interested in accessing affordable, healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables, check out Boxes range in price from $13.50 to $27 each. The Good Food Box is open for everyone to order from and, in fact, the more boxes we are able to pack each week, the more resilient the program is. The more boxes ordered each week, the more produce we are able to put in each box. Boxes are packed weekly and can be picked up at the Fernwood Community Centre or other pick-up locations around the city or can be delivered to your home for a fee of $3 to $5 (sliding scale). Order your box by Saturday and get it on Wednesday.