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Monthly Meal Box Program Launches

Updated: May 21

I'm happy to announce that Fresh Food Weekly has officially launched our monthly meal box delivery program for low-income families living in Barrie.

We've partnered with Lisa Peterson of Stone Horse Farm - she also runs the Thornton Farmers' Market, and administrates the Farm-to-Family Local Fare Barrie group. We've also partnered with Kari and Mike Madden, owners of Thorganic Farms in Thornton.

Our monthly meal box program is a result of our two successful runs at Christmas and Easter, and now, we want to continue doing them every month going forward. Each month, we'll put together a box of locally sourced and fresh food and to start, we're creating 50 meal boxes a month. In addition, they can only be purchased on behalf of a low-income family living in Barrie, and so every month we're going to be fundraising enough to cover their costs. Thanks to Lisa and Kari, who've already established a network of farmers and food businesses in our local area, we're able to include items such as milk, cheese, eggs, butter, meat, fruits and vegetables, as well as bakery breads and desserts, at a discounted rate. This allows us to sell our meal boxes at a phenomenal price!


June Meal Boxes

Our first monthly delivery date is June 22, 2022 and these 50 meal boxes are worth $75 but are selling for only $37! In each of these meal boxes, we've included all the ingredients to make homemade burger patties (each box will also include a burger patty recipe), plus a number of side veggies and desserts:


- 4L of 2% Natrel milk (from Costco)

- 1 dozen farm fresh eggs (from Homestead Farm)

- 1lb butter (from Alliston Creamery)

- 1 wedge of mild Gouda cheese (from Continental Specialties & Imports)

- 2 lbs of ground beef (from Thorganic Farms)

- 1 liter of soup broth with veggies (broth bones from Stone Horse Farms)

- Bakery bread (from Don's Bakery of Barrie and Caldense Bakery)

- Desserts (from Don's Bakery)

- 2 lbs Onions (from Dominion Produce Farms)

- 2 lbs Carrots (from Dominion Produce Farms)

- Garlic (E.F.T. Farms)

- 2 lbs apples (E.F.T. Farms)

- 1 lb asparagus (Kerry Yamamoto)

- Bottle of Terry's Hot Sauce (from Terry's Unique Hot Sauce)

- Japanese-style bread crumbs (from Costco)


I am absolutely thrilled to be able to offer all these items at such an amazing price. I want to give a big shout-out to everyone who's helped make this all possible - this just totally blows me away! If you would like to purchase one of these meal boxes on behalf of a low-income family in Barrie, please e-transfer $37 to ffwbarrie@gmail.com, or by credit card over the phone to Kari Madden, owner of Thorganic Farms At (705) 543-1782.


If you would like to buy any fresh and locally sourced food items for yourself, please check out the Farm-to-Family Local Fare Barrie online catalog for a complete list of items!


Soup Broth Cook-Off

As mentioned above, we're going to be making soup broth for each meal box as well, and we're looking for volunteers to come help us with this! Our first 'broth cook' is on Thursday, May 26th at 1 pm, and we're cooking at Thorganic Farms, located at 7030 10th Line, Thornton, Ont. All the ingredients have already been provided by our generous donors! We're also looking for volunteers who have an Instant Pot to come help out as well. If you're interested in volunteering with the broth soup-cooking, either with an Instant Pot or without one, please feel free to reach out to me directly at leah.dyck@icloud.com, or call me at (705) 718-0062 so I can add you to our list!


Who Receives These Boxes?

As many of you know, I was doing weekly deliveries throughout the summer of 2021 and during this time, I garnered a list of 267 low-income families, which consisted of +2,000 people (50 percent of which are children). Our monthly meal boxes are donated to some of these people, as well as to new families who sign up to receive them in advance.


If you're wondering if there's any protocols in place to determine how "in-need" these families are, there isn't really. That being said, last summer when I was doing weekly deliveries for 16 weeks straight, I got to know quite a bit of these families. Many of these people do not live in nice homes (just being honest, not judgmental) and many of of them can't even afford to buy cake mix for their children's birthdays (I really got to know them, and listened to their struggles). So I know of at least 267 families in Barrie right now who desperately need help with getting food - and these people I've personally vetted.


If someone has a Range Rover in their driveway, though, I'll stop delivering to them and if they make a fuss about it, I'll ask them to provide proof of income - but this hasn't happened yet. So far, the only problems I've ever had are from neighbors stealing meal boxes/food bags because the recipient didn't answer the door when the food was delivered. Going forward, we're only going to deliver to recipients who are home to receive it. If they're not home, we'll arrange to leave it with someone else ahead of time, or we won't deliver.


In the past, when neighbors would steal, I would leave a note on all the neighbors doors (if it was an apartment building, I would leave a note on each door on that floor), explaining who I am, what I do and that they can also signup to receive free weekly food deliveries as well. This always stopped the theft from continuing - they were only stealing because they too, were starving.

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