Q: We want to enjoy farm fresh food this summer, but we are having trouble keeping up with our bills. Are there any ways to get low cost produce?
A: A local food security organization called One Straw Society has a subsidized – in other words, low-cost or free – farm-fresh food box program for folks in need.
If you think this could help you, all you need to do is fill out a form online, or get in touch with them by phone or email to request a box. (The Resource Centre can facilitate if need be.)
The One Straw website says that the Crop Circle Food Box (the official name for it) is a “partnership between a dozen local farms working together to grow your next sandwich!” What’s in a box? Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, fresh potatoes, beets, peas, beans, garlic, onions …really whatever is being grown locally by participating growers, and is in season. Yum, yum, yum, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Once you are on the list to receive a box, there is no difference in service, quality or contents between folks who pay full-price and those who do not, and there is no way to know who’s who. All it is are good humans receiving yummy food at predetermined times, either by pickup or delivery. There are a variety of box sizes to choose from, and various pickup locations on the Coast which at the moment include Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay. Pickup/drop offs are on Tuesdays.
Note: If you are wanting a box, but the pickup/drop-off situation doesn’t work for you, whether you are in the Pender Harbour/Madeira Park area, or for any other reason, talk to us at the Resource Centre and maybe we can find a solution if we know someone going your way!
The subsidized boxes are made possible by generous donors and sponsors …so if you are someone who would like to help fellow community members and their families enjoy fresh food, you can sponsor a box and donate to the One Straw Society. Imagine the difference you could make for folks young and old alike – from the tiny toddler next door, to your senior friend living on fixed income – who all deserve to have healthy food on the table. Contact One Straw to show interest: www.onestraw.ca/donate.
As always – if computers aren’t your thing, we can happily help you connect with One Straw by other means.
There are a few ways to request a subsidized food box: 1) Request online at www.onestraw.ca/cfb. Midway down the page, there is a section called “subsidies,” and on there a link to the request form; 2) Give Caitlin at One Straw an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 604-728-6184.
If computers aren’t your thing, whether you’d like to request a box, or donate to One Straw, or just find out more, as always, the Resource Centre can help you with this over the phone or in-person. See our contact info below.
One more thing: if connecting with healthy food is becoming challenging for you in these times, feel free to reach out here and we are happy to look further into what else is available on the Coast to help. This can include connecting you to food banks in your area, as well as other food options that might work for your specific situation.
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub.
The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Contact us: email@example.com or 604-885-4088.