The numbers are in… hundreds have come together to support 160 families

>> Mila Czemerys & Kathryn Juricic

Seven events, twenty-one fundraising teams, nine business supporters, ten donation boxes, eight fundraising videos, seven media outlets, two very tired organizers, fifteen amazing ­volunteers and five hundred and eight donors later, The Gift of Good Food surpassed its ­fundraising goal and raised $80,463, supporting 160 families for a whole year! A mouthful in more ways than one…
Families have already been chosen by fifteen partner organizations from Sooke to Saanich and throughout the year, 44,255 pounds of produce (that’s more pounds than a ­Greyhound bus!) will be packed and ­distributed by the wonderful Good Food Box volunteers every Wednesday.

We—the organizing team of Kathryn and Mila—are beyond grateful and blown away by this year’s support of The Gift of Good Food. We feel so lucky to be able to work on such a meaningful campaign. Plus, it gives us the opportunity to work together with amazing communities, in Fernwood and beyond our neighbourhood’s borders! We’ve been babbling on about the impacts of this campaign for a good while, so we’d like to take this opportunity to share stories from the fundraising side of things.

One special day at the Fernwood Community Centre, a volunteer team from Garth Homer Society walked in with a cheque over $1,000. They had been ­collecting recyclables from different places around Victoria for a whole year! Without any notice or need for thanks, they proudly handed over the cheque.

This year, we made Gift of Good Food canvas tote bags and sold them at the Owl Designer Fair and Oaklands West Coast Winter Market. The bags were well received and sold out quickly. This was our chance to connect with people face-to-face about the campaign and truly appreciate all the conversations and support. Thank you to everyone who purchased canvas totes from us with your generous donations. We hope they get lots of compliments and queries out in the world!

Good Food Grooves, a fundraising ­concert at Vinyl Envy, not surprisingly turned out to be another heart-warmer. We had three awesome local bands ­perform and Kathryn shared her Gift of Good Food poem. There was something in the air. What really had us going is that, before the show, the two MC’s from Grapefruit is Impossible donated enough money to ­support a family for a year! They raised money through selling handmade cards to their friends and family (*cough* Gladstone Card Company). WHO DOES THAT?!

Other amazing people and businesses we’d like to mention are Benji Duke and his annual Gift of Good Food Quiz at ­Northern Quarter, the Orbus Business Network and their fun fundraising ­Holiday ­Dinner (thank you Michelle!), Hoyne Brewing Company for matching donations AGAIN, Phillips Brewing Company for donating tasting room donations, ­Discovery Coffee for making fundraising doughnuts (so cool!), Luna Collective for selling our tote bags and cards, Trevor ­Bennet and Kingtide Films’ work on our fundraising videos, and Mason Street Farm and everyone who made ­Vegstock 2.0 another epic fundraising house concert.

Oh yeah, did we mention that we had twenty one fundraising teams? Together they raised over $20,000! We couldn’t have done this without our Gift of Good Food Team Captains, who voluntarily took on the cause and solicited their friends and family for donations. It was amazing to work side-by-side with you.

Our deepest gratitude. We did it!