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Gift of Good Food Holiday Fundraiser

~~The Gift of Good Food : You can make a difference in the life of a family in need
by Mila Czemerys

The holiday season and the winter months can be a tough time for families struggling to make ends meet. The Gift of Good Food holiday fundraiser responds creatively to this need in our community. Quadra Village Community Centre has partnered with nine other Community Centres across Greater Victoria to raise money in order to give Good Food Boxes to families we support. The money raised by Quadra Village will go directly to supporting families in our community.
The Good Food Box program is a non-profit fruit and vegetable distribution program that offers affordable produce through wholesale purchasing. The Gift of Good Food is a holiday fundraiser that uses this program to provide year-round support of fresh produce to families who need it.
We need your help. Every $500 raised supports a family with one large Good Food Box every two weeks for a year. We focus on supporting families who are in transition, have low incomes, single parents, or families who need support in meeting their ¬nutritional needs. All funds go towards providing a yearly supply of fruits and vegetables to families who may not otherwise have access to fresh, local ¬produce.

Why is this fundraiser different than other holiday food drives?
1) It provides fresh vegetable and fruits that are not accessible at most food banks. Families accessing food banks generally receive non-perishable items. Our goal is to add nutritious produce to the equation.
2) Instead of a one-time food hamper, it provides food every 2 weeks for all of 2016. This gift keeps giving the whole year.
3) Families who receive Good Food Boxes will pick-up their food with all other Good Food Box customers. They will not feel singled out or face stigma when ¬collecting their gift.

We are hoping businesses, individuals, and community groups will join the campaign and take on the challenge of helping to raise $500 to provide one family with Good Food Boxes for all of 2016 in Hillside-Quadra. Every donation, big or small, helps make a difference. For example, a $20 donation provides one family with one large Good Food Box.  According to Kelly Greenwell, Executive Director of Quadra Village Community Centre “many families struggle with debt and lack of income following the Christmas season and throughout the year.  If neighbours and co-workers team up they can make a big difference for families close to home.”
According to Victoria Vital Signs 2014, poverty is on the rise and the cost of food is increasing at double the rate of inflation. Further, 14% of households in Greater Victoria reported they were food insecure over the past 12 months. In the face of these statistics, it is empowering to know that as a community we do have the power to effect meaningful change. Until December 31st, you can donate to the The Gift of Good Food and ensure families have access to healthy, fresh produce.
The Good Food box was started 18 years ago by single moms and lower income families who wanted to bring local and organic produce to their community at reduced cost by bulk purchasing. The program grew from 12 boxes a month to 250 boxes a month and is now accessed in the Greater Victoria area from Sooke to Sidney. ¬Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group assumed responsibility for the operations of the Good Food Box program in 2012 and continues to provide affordable access to local and regional fruits and veggies.

If you want to get involved, there are 5 ways to donate:
1) Online with a credit card at thegoodfoodbox.ca/donate
2) In-person with cash, cheque, debit or credit at the Fernwood Community Centre, 1240 Gladstone Avenue.
3) By phone with credit card 250-381-1552 ext. 100.
4) Mail a cheque to Fernwood Community Centre.
5) Connect with Quadra Village Community Centre (250 388 7696 or info@quadravillagecc.com) and start a fundraising group in your office, team, family, club, anywhere!

Donations of $20 and over will receive a tax-deductible charitable donation receipt. We are raising funds until December 22nd (until December 31st for all online donations) and the families receiving The Gift of Good Food will be notified in January 2016.

For more info visit https://thegoodfoodbox.ca/donate/your-gift email info@fernwoodnrg.ca, or call 250-381-1552 x 118. Thank you for your contributions!