The newly formed Good Food Box Society of North Okanagan has resurrected the Good Food Box program after a two-month hiatus. Helping with the new society are, from left: Christine Fraser (secretary), Diane Fleming (program coordinator), Deborah Fox (Hytec), Chris Harwood-Jones (All Saints Anglican Church), Bill Hickey (treasurer), Tara Bradley (vice-president), Donna Antonishak (president) and Michael Sanfilippo (Hytec). (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

North Okanagan Good Food Box program back

New society takes over North Okanagan program that helps source low-cost fruits and veggies

Good news regarding a good food program.

The Good Food Box Program is returning on Thursday, May 17, with a new society — The Good Food Box Society of the North Okanagan — running it.

“We are happy to be back in operation so quickly and are very sorry for this delay which has impacted so many people,” said volunteer Christine Fraser.

The new society features familiar faces.

Fraser is the secretary. Donna Antonishak, the public health nutritionist who helped found the program in 2000, is the president. Tara Bradley is vice-president. Bill Hickey is treasurer and Diane Fleming, the only paid person from the original board, returns as program coordinator.

“We’re very happy to be back operating and helping people with limited access to good fruits and vegetables throughout the region,” said Antonishak at Vernon’s All Saints Anglican Church Friday. The church has graciously agreed to house the program free of charge.

Operating since August 2000, the Good Food Box helps hundreds of individuals and families throughout the North Okanagan access affordable produce, mostly locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables.

The program, however, was terminated in March by the Food Action Society of North Okanagan, which oversaw the program.

“Because we buy in large quantities, the value of the produce box is close to double the value at a regular supermarket,” said Fraser. “Items are chosen according to what is in season and affordable at the time. A spring Good Food Box may contain 10 or 11 items such as potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce or spinach, tomatoes or peppers, radishes, broccoli, zucchini or cucumber, apples, bananas, oranges.”

Participants will be able to purchase a produce box for $17 for a regular box or $20 for a sustaining Good Food Box, with deliveries happening the third Thursday of each month, like before. And orders must be placed by the preceding Wednesday.

Money from every box goes towards supporting the program with the sustaining box designed for those wishing and able to contribute more to sustaining the program for people in need in the region. Small produce boxes will also be available for $10.

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