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Community Food Boxes

We got our subsidized food box from the YWCA this week. We had a choice of large or small, and I always sign up for the small box. The boxes are packed and ready to go twice a month: the staples box can be picked up during the third week and the produce box is ready the fourth week of the month.

Because I receive the subsidy, I get the boxes for $5 and $6 each. They come at a great time for me, because my monthly paycheque is usually pretty well spent by this time. Have I mentioned already that I only get paid once a month? :)

Non-subsidized boxes are $11 (staples) and $12 (produce) for the small sizes.

I really like the produce box because it usually comes with one or two things that I wouldn't normally buy, like fresh herbs or beets. This week's staples box came with bagels and cream cheese, which I rarely purchase, so this was a treat, a bunch of carrots and a few potatoes, four apples and two tangerines, a can of beans, a can of tuna, a can of tomatoes, a package of spagetti and a huge bag of spinach. Sometimes there is cereal, apple sauce, canned soup ... you have to like surprises to appreciate these boxes.

The food boxes are available to everyone, not just single moms like me. In fact, the Y encourages everyone to purchase them at the non-subsidized price if they can, because that will bring more money to the program, which means more money to buy food, and more food available to everyone, subsidized or not. I'm thinking of promoting the boxes around my department, because I'm sure there are faculty here who can afford the non-subsidized boxes, and students who might not know about the subsidized ones. The same food items are in each box regardless of how much one has paid for it.

Also, I told them that I am willing to become a contact for my building. If I get two more people to sign up, the Y will deliver the boxes to us, and if I get five or more people, I will receive yet another dollar off my own boxes. I have also offered to pick up and deliver to anyone in my building who might be using the program but not have a car.

It's worth the effort to find out if your community has a program like this. If you can afford $20-30 a month to contribute to a food program, everyone involved wins.

Karissa Dee


  1. That is some great produce. Would love to hear about the dishes created w/ that bountiful harvest!

    Unfortunately, I don't have a program like this in the area. If I work with a CSA, there is a bigger costs for me. And because I work so far from home, the pick up time for me is not workable. Hopefully, something feasible will come around. Cuz your box looks delish!

  2. It's amazing how many of these types of programs are overlooked by people who are eligible for them... and that can actually lead to their demise! Good on you for getting the word out. Every program like this can use some insurance for getting people involved at every level. When we lived in New England there was a farm that had a similar program, and it even allowed people to work to help cut down the costs of their food boxes, if money itself was tight.

  3. I must clarify: the pic above is from google. I'll try to post a 'real' pic of the produce box when it's ready next week.

  4. That's really good idea. There is nothing like that around here, just the food bank and community kitchen suppers.

  5. I live in Georgia, I don't think we have a program like yours. We do have a program from Angelfood feeds a family of 4 for $30.00 a week anyone can use it. I don't think it is availabe in Canada.
    your USA readers can check it out. I use the program every month. Hope you will drop by my blog soon.

  6. This sounds like a great program. I'm going to check to see if there is something like it in my area.


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