Purchasing

Who can buy a box?

ANYONE who is interested in buying a box can do so by accessing one of the Pick up sites that is most convenient for you.

What are the membership fees to join the Good Food Box program?

There are no membership fees.  There is no long term commitment.  You pay and order each month.

Do you offer more than one size of box?

Yes. We offer $10, $15 and $20 boxes.  The $10 boxes are great for singles and small families, while the $15 and $20 boxes are ideal for larger households. Each month the box contents are a little different.  The size of box you choose all depends on how many fruits and vegetables you eat.

How do I buy a box?

The Fresh Food Box can be ordered at any one of our approximately 33 pick up sites across the region. Click here to find the site closest to you. You can also checkout out step-by-step buying guide under the How to Buy section.

Can I buy more than one box?
Absolutely!
What’s the cut-off date for placing an order?

The Fresh Food Box is almost always delivered on a Tuesday once a month. Orders must be placed at least 11 days before your pick up sites delivery day. Day of the month, order due dates and pick up times should be confirmed with the site coordinator at each site and is found on our pick up sites page.

When will my box be ready?

The Fresh Food Box is usually delivered on the third or fourth Tuesday of every month. See the pick up sites listing to determine which sites have delivery on which Tuesday of the month.  The schedule is the same every month and is set for an entire year.  Your site coordinator will let you know the pick up times.

Can I pay by cheque?

For the time being, the Fresh Food Box only accepts cash payment.

Can I change my order after I’ve paid for it?

Site coordinators place the orders immediately after the payment deadline and orders cannot be changed.

I’m very low on cash this month, can I order now and pay you next month?

We’d love to help with that but for now the Fresh Food Box requires that you pay for your order when you place it.

I missed the cut-off date for placing my order. Do I have to wait until next month?

We place the orders right after the due date and cannot make late amendments. Get your order for next month in early!

Do you deliver?

We deliver as far as the pick up site. You must make arrangements to pick up your box from the site you ordered from. If you know more than one person ordering from the same site, how about taking turns picking up for friends?

Can I get some shopping bags at the distribution site so I can carry my food home?

We’d love to be able to provide shopping bags for our amazing clients but that would make the boxes more expensive. You’ll need to bring your own (reusable!) bags.

If I am on Employment and Social Services assistance can I get a free box?

You can pre-order and pre-pay for a box at any one of our pick up sites.  You may order from any drop site OR at your Employment and Social Services office.  Ask for a receipt as an Halton Employment and Social services (OW) recipient.  Come and pick up your box on delivery day, hand in your receipt to the pick up site.  Upon pick up, the pick up site will inform Halton Employment and Social Services who will reimburse you by cheque.  If you are not eligible for this service Employment and Social services will contact you regarding why they will not reimburse you the money.  Pick up sites do not have any information regarding eligibility or repayment.  They simply are there to take your order, collect your payment, give you your box and then communicate pick up back to Halton Employment and Social Services.

Box Contents

What kind of food will I get in a Fresh Food Box?

Each month the box is a little different. Boxes always have staples such as carrots, onions, bananas and apples. Depending on the season, special good buys such as broccoli, oranges, kiwi, asparagus, or cantaloupe are available. You can see sample box contents here.

Do you sell local organic produce?

The Fresh Food Box on occasion buys locally grown organic produce.  You will see one of our local organic growers listed in Our Suppliers.  Our mandate is to buy as close as we can from home but not necessarily organic.  There are other programs in Halton region and area which offer organic boxes for purchase.

I liked what I got in my box last month, can I get exactly the same this month?

Each month the box is a little different, depending on the growing season of certain fruits and vegetables, farmers and our suppliers.  We also rely on feedback from customers to guide us in our choices. The good news is that you might get to try something you’ve never had before and make a new fruit or vegetable a part of your healthy diet!

Before I place an order, can you tell me what’s going to be in the box this month?

Unfortunately we do not always know the exact contents of the box on the week that we take orders. The Fresh Food Box encourages you to have an open mind and hungry stomach for when the monthly Box arrives.

I’m allergic to certain types of food. Can you ensure that I don’t get any in my order?

Allergies are tough to deal with but the Fresh Food Box is standardized and it is difficult for us to personalize each box. We encourage you to share any food you receive that you are allergic to with a friend or neighbour. If you are dangerously allergic to one of the regular items, the Fresh Food Box may not be for you. Some Fresh Food Box pick up sites have swap boxes, where customers can trade items though this cannot be guaranteed.

Where can I find recipes for the food I got in my box?

Our monthly newsletter that comes with the Fresh Food Box always has some recipes. Or you can check in the Fresh Food Box recipe archive. You can also try searching for recipes on the internet.

The box I bought contained some things I didn’t recognize. What are they and what can I do with them?

Our monthly newsletter that comes with the Fresh Food Box always has some recipes and should help you understand what any “mystery” items are and what to do with them. There is also a recipe archive on our website. You can also try searching for recipes on the internet.

I’m not happy with the contents of the box I bought. What can I do?

The first step is to let us know using the feedback options listed on the feedback form that is in every foodbox each month.  We like to know if there are issues.  Once we are aware of an issue we will work with you to find an equitable solution.

General

How do you make money?

The Fresh Food Box buys food at wholesale prices and resells them at the same price. The Fresh Food Box does not make a profit on the sales of the food. The Fresh Food Box is a not-for-profit organization that covers its food costs through the sale of its Fresh Food Boxes and covers its operational and administrative costs through grants from Halton Region Health Department, Ontario Trillium Foundation and other supporting community service organizations. Volunteerism is also a large part of the program, keeping prices low and building community spirit.

Will I save money compared to buying the same food at a regular grocery store?

Yes. The fresh produce sold in the Fresh Food Box is offered at wholesale prices. Furthermore, the coordinator regularly compares prices at various grocery stores and usually spends for example $28-$30 on the $17 so you save at least $10 per box.

How can you afford to sell at a lower price than regular grocery stores?

We can afford to sell at a lower price because the organization relies heavily upon community volunteer support and centralized buying and coordination. Selling at a lower price has been proven a successful way of reaching out to those in the community who cannot access adequate fresh fruits and vegetables.

Where is the nearest pick up site to my home?

You can see a map of the Halton region and information about all our current sites by clicking here. If there isn’t a site in your neighbourhood, we will start a site almost anywhere in Halton region, as long as we have 10 customers and at least one volunteer site coordinator.

When are you going to open a pick up site in my neighbourhood?

The Fresh Food Box is willing to start a site anywhere in Halton region, as long as we have 10 customers and at least one volunteer site coordinator.

How can I help?

Very glad you asked! There are a number of volunteer positions available at the Halton Fresh Food Box. You can volunteer to be a packer, pick up site coordinator, or Board member, in addition to many other opportunities. You can also make a donation to help keep the program running. Click here for more information.

What is the difference between the Fresh Food Box and the Food Bank or Food Recovery Programs like Food for Life or ReFresh?

The Fresh Food Box is dedicated to selling quality fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices as a means of supporting greater access to low-cost quality fruit and vegetables.  Food banks and food recovery programs are dedicated to providing those in need with emergency food assistance. The Fresh Food Box, food banks and food recovery programs see each other’s services as complimentary and are seeking opportunities for greater collaboration.

Who is the intended clientele of the Fresh Food Box?

The Fresh Food Box was developed in 2004 as a means of reaching out to those in Halton region who were not accessing adequate fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to supporting people with limited access, the Fresh Food Box often also draws clientele who are keen to access food that is in season and is grown close to home as possible. The Fresh Food Box is open to anyone and everyone who is interested in participating in the program, whether your reasons are to increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, introduce variety and new food experiences, cooking more from scratch; stretching limited food dollars or building community spirit!

 

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