Harvest Box 2013 Wrap Up
The Abbotsford Harvest Box tackles food insecurity in Abbotsford by making fresh, healthy foods more affordable, cutting down on costs of living, and leaving residents with a greater proportion of their disposable incomes to spend on other essentials. Between July and December 2013, a total of 649 orders were placed (averaging 75 people ordering each period) for a total of 961 Harvest Boxes. Harvest Box saved clients 31% of their costs on produce, with total savings to all participants being $3527.
Abbotsford Harvest Box fills a gap in the community by serving people ‘in-between’ emergency food users and those able to afford retail prices. Its participants gain self-sufficiency, choice and dignity in meeting food needs.
- 71% of Harvest Box clients reported that it was challenging to, or that they were unable to make ends meet each month
- 67% spent more than 30% of their income on shelter each month
- 47% were living on income assistance, EI/CPP/OAS, student loans or were supported by family
- 45% worried about running out of food or limited food quality because of a lack of money
- 31% had used the food bank or other community supports
- 25% missed meals, significantly reduced food intake or went entire days without food
Participants increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, enjoyed increased access to local foods and reduced food packaging waste (see graphs below).
Source: All data drawn from an end-of-year customer survey containing responses from 60 Harvest Box clients including 1/3 of all-time clients and 2/3 of current clients.
The Abbotsford Harvest Box is continuing strong into 2014. Stay tuned for some exciting new announcements regarding a West Abbotsford distribution site, launch of the Bulk Buying Club and announcement of some exciting skills course opportunities.