More than 5,865 food boxes delivered in the first year of the program, the equivalent of 32,258 meals
WHITBY – In its first year of operation, Community Care Durham’s Community Food Box program has helped feed a lot of people.
Originally launched just prior to the start of the pandemic to address growing food security issues, the Community Food Box (CFB) program has since attracted many community partners helping it to deliver the essentials for healthy eating. The program has evolved and is now used by people who are quarantining due to COVID-19 and by others who cannot or choose not to leave home for health and safety reasons.
“Right from the start the food box was well received and the pandemic has just increased the need as seniors and other vulnerable people isolate at home,” said James Meloche, CEO, Community Care Durham. “We were fortunate to have so many of our community partners reach and make this happen. Our success is truly a community success.”
On average, about 100 boxes are delivered across Durham Region each Friday. Depending on availability, each Community Food Box may contain eggs and dairy; breads and baked goods; pasta and soups; beverages; paper products; and, fruits and vegetables.
The week prior to the holidays in December CCD delivered 161 boxes of food.
“Given that each box contains enough food for five and a half meals, clients knew their food boxes would help carry them through the holidays,” Meloche said.
Erin Harvey, is CCD’s Community Food Box Service Coordinator. She, along with her community engagement volunteers, have been reaching out to local food producers and other partners about additional new and unique products to put in the food boxes. She’s been impressed at the positive reaction she’s getting from organizations that want to help.
“It really does take a village to bring it all together and make everything happen,” Harvey said. “The program is so much more than a food delivery service. It’s about people helping people.”
She said the help from CCD’s partners and volunteers has been instrumental in the Community Food Box’s success.
“It’s been outstanding. Our goal is making sure that what’s inside the food boxes is local, providing great quality and nutritious items.”
One of CCD’s partners, the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food at Durham College, is continuing to donate produce from its greenhouse. They will supply green herbs and honey made on-site.
“They have been so helpful,” Harvey said. “Durham College has supplied us with recipes, based on the items that are in the box. Their goal to provide sustainability and to support local truly aligns with the direction the community food box is going.”
The Community Food Box program is just one of the many programs and services offered by Community Care Durham as the organization works to support people to maintain their independence and live safely in their own homes.
To order a Community Food Box for yourself or a loved one, please call: 1-888-255-6680 or complete the online referral form found on the CCD website at www.communitycaredurham.on.ca.
Each box costs $35 and delivery is free thanks to the outstanding support of CCD’s volunteers who bring the boxes straight to the client’s door.
For more information about the CFB program and other CCD programs, visit https://www.communitycaredurham.on.ca or call 1-888-255-6680.