FareShare's Good Food Box is full of benefits.

FoodShare’s Good Food Box program is full of perks

FoodShare’s Good Food Box delivery program is a good old fashioned way to eat fresh and save money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up until March 15, I did the bulk of my grocery shopping at No Frills or Food Basics every Friday night. It was something I looked forward to; browsing aisles, planning meals, buying chocolate and eventually replenishing my cupboards for the week. I’m always looking for ways to eat well on a budget. Most recently I was making my own pizza, an exquisite production featuring oven-toasted pita bread, vegan sausage and pineapple. I won’t even get into the savings here, both in pizza calories and dollars.

Since COVID-19 made its way into Canada, I’ve stopped going to No Frills, or Food Basics, or Loblaws or any other large grocery store chain. I’m not boycotting big-box grocery stores until the pandemic is over but rather attempting to be more self-sufficient, environmentally-conscious, and mindful when it comes to food. On April 9, I ordered my first Good Food Box and the next day I went to Bulk Barn.

The COVID diet is both colourful and cost effective

The Good Food Box is a cost-effective way to stock your fridge with an assortment of super fresh Toronto grown produce, delivered weekly to your door. All that and every purchase helps support programs and initiatives for Toronto’s most nutritionally vulnerable.

I ordered the large produce box for $22 which is considered an excellent option for two to four people for a week. At first, I was delighted, then I was bewildered by the amount the vegetables, some of which I would never buy from the grocery store. Cabbage? Kale? Pineapple? I had recently been buying Dole salad mixes (to get in shape) but they often went bad. My next step was to buy the actual vegetables so they would be more in my face. My Good Food Box is my wish come true.

Good Food Box contents and how I’ve used them so far

  • 1 bunch of celery (smoothie)
  • 1 lb mini carrots (coleslaw)
  • 1 cucumber (salad)
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (salad)
  • 2 lb onion (rice, beans, kale combo)
  • 4 oranges (salad dressing)
  • 1 head of kale (salad, kale chips)
  • 1 pineapple (smoothie)
  • 1 head of cabbage (smoothie, cabbage rolls, salad, coleslaw)
  • 6 apples (coleslaw)

I am not starving. At all. This delivery involved some major reorganizing in my refrigerator, a few hours looking up recipes, a lot of chopping and total resolve to add more vegetables to my diet. Six days later, the box has been nothing short of life-changing. I actually massage kale now. And like it. Combined with dried goods (chickpeas, cranberries, and nuts) from Bulk Barn, my COVID meals have been remarkably fulfilling, and maybe even a little exciting. Last night I made cabbage rolls for the first time with rice and beans. One head of cabbage will basically last a lifetime.

Boxes can come with pre-cut produce for added convenience or extra veggies for larger families. There’s even an organic produce box available as well as a variety of pasture-raised meat boxes.

If you’re not making your own bread yet, you can also order a loaf with your box and help divert food waste in the process. That’s not how it sounds.

The Good Food Box is a fantastic way to eat fresh, save money, and stay home now and beyond the pandemic. And for anyone who’s lamenting they have too much time on their hands, meal prep will absolutely eat it for you.

Karen

Website designer and writer specializing in real estate, restaurants, small business and horticulture in Canada.

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