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The Good Food Box and MarketMobile bring affordable and fresh food and vegetables to neighbourhoods throughout Ottawa. We are pleased to announce that the Good Food Box and MarketMobile will be operating together for a nine-month pilot project, starting in April. Good Food Box is operated by Centretown Community Health Centre and MarketMobile is operated by Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre.
Bringing these two programs together is best for our customers. Both Good Food Box and MarketMobile services will continue to operate. Food deliveries and schedules will remain the same.
Once the two programs are operating together for several months, we will look at how to make our combined services even better for our customers and communities. Together we hope to respond to the demand for more Good Food Box sites. We have many ideas and look forward to sharing them in the months ahead!
Will my Good Food Box site change or close?
Not in the short term. We will continue to work with site coordinators and to support their sites. Once the two programs have been operating together for several months, we will look at how to make our combined services even better for our customers. A Good Food Box site needs at least 10 orders a month to stay open. We will evaluate routes and work with the MarketMobile and communities to find the right service to provide fresh fruit and vegetable options year round.
What will happen to the Good Food Box and Market Mobile staff and volunteers?
We are grateful for our terrific staff and volunteers! Both Centretown Community Health Centre and Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre will continue to provide meaningful community volunteer opportunities. Volunteers with the Good Food Box are welcome to continue volunteering at the new location. Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre will become the lead to manage and recruit Good Food Box program staff and volunteers. Our new collaboration may result in changes to staff and volunteer roles and responsibilities, and new opportunities.
What is happening to the Good Food Box Warehouse Space?
The Centretown Community Health Centre’s Good Food Box packing day space and storage facility is no longer available as of the end of March. We have been searching for space for almost a year. We have found a sustainable fit with Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre‘s newly-secured space at Rideau High School, 815 St. Laurent Blvd. The space can accommodate our packing day needs and delivery vehicles.
Why partner with Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre?
The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre and Centretown Community Health Centre have been working together on our food programs since 2015. Together we completed a program assessment in 2017. We wanted to figure out how we could stretch our dollars and better serve our Ottawa communities together. The assessment showed some duplication in our work. We needed to be more efficient in our operations and collaborate with each other to better serve our customers and communities.
Is Centretown Community Health Centre out of the food security business?
No! Centretown Community Health Centre recognizes the need to do things differently to be able to continue to operate while facing rising food and transportation costs. We will support Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre in their running of the Good Food Box and will maintain oversight of the Good Food Box.
Centretown Community Health Centre will continue to be active in food security issues with our partners, continue to support communities in reducing barriers to health and wellbeing and are committed to helping individuals, families and communities to reach their full potential. Working more efficiently with Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre will allow us to better explore and respond to emerging food security needs.
What happens at the end of the nine-month pilot project?
At the end of the 9 months, we will evaluate how we are doing working together—as two organizations and with our volunteers and the community. Together we will pool our resources (people and money) to make the funding go further and provide the best service possible.