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Fresh Food Box initiative coming to Digby to help make healthy food more accessible and affordable

The Fresh Food Box initiative is being launched in Digby County this month. Pictured are Joy Walker, produce manager at Atlantic Superstore Digby; Beth Costello, Fresh Food Box coordinator and Butch Reitzel, store manager at Atlantic Superstore Digby.
The Fresh Food Box initiative is being launched in Digby County this month. Pictured are Joy Walker, produce manager at Atlantic Superstore Digby; Beth Costello, Fresh Food Box coordinator and Butch Reitzel, store manager at Atlantic Superstore Digby. - Contributed

The Fresh Food Box will soon be bringing fresh and affordable vegetables and fruits to neighborhoods in the Digby area – Weymouth, Digby Islands, Bear River – that have limited access to healthy food.

The launch of this community project is happening on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Digby Fire Hall.

Beginning June 27, the Fresh Food Box will launch as a 21-week pilot with deliveries of fresh produce to the communities of downtown Digby, Weymouth, Bear River and Digby Islands. These communities were selected because they have a higher proportion of people who often struggle with food access, including seniors, immigrants, single parents and low-income families.

Another consideration was proximity and accessibility to a grocery store. The produce packs will be sold at a price that is affordable and will be delivered every two weeks via community partners to sites in each community.

The Fresh Food Box is a partnership between the Tri-County Women’s Centre, Conway Workshop, Public Health (Nova Scotia Health Authority), Mobile Food Market Halifax, and is supported by local community organizations and businesses including Atlantic Superstore, and local farms such as Driftwood Green House and Ridgeview Farms.

“By bringing fresh, affordable produce to our communities, Fresh Food Box will reduce some of the inequities endured, particularly for those whose communities are considered remote from town centres. Our postal code should not dictate the quality of our food,” says Lisanne Turner, executive director of the Tri-County Women’s Centre. “Affordable food contributes to healthier, more engaged communities.”

“Part of the culture at Loblaw is knowing that as Canada's largest grocer, we do have a responsibility to give back to the community. The Digby Fresh Food Box is a great example of what we can accomplish when community, government, and business work together,” says Butch Reitzel, Store Manager of the Digby Atlantic Superstore.

“Our approach is not only to support initiatives that contribute to the community – but to community development meaningful relationship. This initiative is so much more

than providing affordable, accessible fresh foods to communities that have some challenges,” he says. “Our Atlantic Superstore in Digby is excited to be a proud partner on this project from the beginning by not only providing fresh produce, integrating our dietitian services, profiling our community, profiling local growers that we have a relationship and sharing our business knowledge and expertise to the Fresh Food Box Digby team."

The Fresh Food Box is similar to and working closely with The Mobile Food Market in Halifax which has been extremely well received. The project will continue to work closely with community leaders and stakeholders to make sure it is meeting their needs.

Dates for the Fresh Food Box pickups

Payments are made in advance. So all orders placed on Thursdays will be picked up at the same location in two weeks later. To place an order, go to any of the locations near you or reach out to our project coordinator.

Planned pick-up dates are:

• June 27

• July 11, 25

• Aug 8, 22

• Sept. 5, 19

• Oct. 3, 17

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