Good Food Box Update
Since June, the Good Food Box Program has begun the process of gradually, and safely, transitioning back to regular operations. The GFB Bridge Program is funded by the Thunder Bay Community Foundation’s Emergency Community Support Fund. We received a donation of face shields from Canadian Tire; assistance with the cost of food from Roots to Harvest; and are seeking additional funding from RBC Foundation to meet all the operational expenses.
Gift Cards for Women affected by intimate partner violence and homeless women
Thanks to a generous donation, the Women’s Centre is able to purchase bulk gift cards to help women purchase food and other essential supplies. The cards will be purchased through Safeway (Sobey’s) and distributed to our clients, and via our community partners working with these populations.
Good Food Box Emergency Response
The Good Food Box Program had to cancel regular operations due to the pandemic. In response, the Women’s Centre partnered with other local/regional food security programs to provide a REGIONAL FIRST NATIONS EMERGENCY GOOD FOOD BOX and an EMERGENCY GOOD FOOD BOX FOR SENIORS.
In collaboration with Roots to Harvest, the Thunder Bay Good Food Box created an EMERGENCY GOOD FOOD BOX that includes healthy, non-perishables and fresh produce (e.g. Bread, pasta, pasta sauce, oatmeal, cheese, tuna, soup, as well as fresh vegetables and fruit) to supplement the diets of Seniors on low income. This effort will focused on getting food to Seniors that have no family to drop by with groceries, and those seniors that are living on low incomes from Ontario Old Age Security and Canadian Pension Plan. We worked with Building Managers and Tenant Support Workers at existing Good Food Box Host Sites to distribute the Emergency GFB to those most in need.
Joining Roots to Harvest and the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre/Good Food Box in this initiative are: Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board/Seniors Housing Buildings (identifying seniors in need and helping with distribution); and NorWest Community Health Centre (helping to identify seniors and with distribution).
In collaboration with the Indigenous Food Circle, the Thunder Bay Good Food Box program worked to alleviate food shortages in First Nations in the District by providing a REGIONAL FIRST NATIONS EMERGENCY GOOD FOOD BOX, delivering to three regional locations. This Emergency GFB included non-perishable items as well as fresh fruit and vegetables, ordered in Thunder Bay and shipped to three drop-off locations in the region.
The Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre/Good Food Box has an ongoing collaboration with the Indigenous Food Circle to build capacity toward food security and self-determination. Currently we supply six First Nation communities with our regular monthly Good Food Box program, and we continue to receive requests from First Nations looking to source fresh, affordable and nutritious food, which is generally not available where they live.
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre and Good Food Box are very grateful to the Thunder Bay COVID-19 Community Response Fund for supporting both these initiatives, and to our partners Roots to Harvest and Indigenous Food Circle.