Good Food Box (GFB) programs provide an alternative way to distribute fresh, nutritious and affordable food to people in the community they serve. Non-profit GFB programs have been established in communities throughout Ontario, as well as across Canada and worldwide.
Typically, programs buy fresh produce in bulk from local farmers, producers, and wholesalers who deliver these vegetables and fruit to packing sites (often in a school, church hall, or warehouse). Volunteers and staff then pack the boxes for delivery to individuals and families who have placed a regular order with the GBF coordinator in their community.
GFB programs require a large enough space to safely house food bought in bulk, as well as the resources to have the food boxed and delivered. Running a GFB program can be resource-intensive and may require the capacity found in large organizations.
Good Food Box Resources
Minding Our Bodies Good Food Box Report
Several community mental health agencies in Ontario have participated in Good Food Box programs for their clients. The Minding Our Bodies project has documented their experiences.
Based in Toronto, FoodShare runs one of the largest Good Food Box programs in the province, delivering thousands of boxes every month to more than 200 neighbourhood-based drop-off sites.
Visit the FoodShare website for more information about the Good Food Box:
- What Is the Good Food Box?
- Good Food Box Manual (PDF)
This free guide begins with a look at the history, philosophy and principles of the Good Food Box program, followed by information on how to market the Good Food Box, how to find funding, how to promote the program and what equipment and resources are needed. Also in the manual are sections on produce buying, volunteer management and creating a newsletter. As well, the manual includes examples of newsletters, promotional pamphlets, profiles of other Good Food Box programs, sample box contents, work rhythms and growth mechanics. Since 1994, dozens of Canadian communities have developed their own versions of the Good Food Box. Responding to local needs and circumstances, they all work to increase access to good, healthy food.
The Future of the Good Food Box Project
The Future of the Good Food Box Project strives to strengthen GFB programs across the province by updating current database information, developing a business model for use by GFB programs, and activating a supportive GFB provincial network.
- See The Future of the Good Food Box Program on the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition website for more information about the project.
- An Interim Environmental Scan Report (PDF) from their survey of GFB programs in the province is available on the FoodNet Ontario website.
Directory of Good Food Box Programs
FoodNet Ontario maintains a searchable database of food security-related programs and initiatives available in various towns, cities, and regions throughout Ontario, including Good Food Box programs.