Local Foodbox Program 2022, food prices & global inflation
Oct 30, 2022 This summer, we packed up almost 2,000 boxes of food at One Tiny Farm in Roberts Creek, from ten different local farms, and booted around in our cute Tiny Truck to pickup hubs in Gibsons, Sechelt, and Halfmoon Bay.
It was amazing overall, especially considering the huge growth again this year, but there’s always learning and ways to improve. Thank you for your feedback, ideas and support! Food security and food systems work is a complicated endeavour! Here’s our reflection on all of it.
Being able to sponsor families and individuals to eat was particularly special this year. Thanks to you, we provided almost 500 boxes of free or subsidized farm produce that people picked up side by side with everyone else. No one knows who paid what. No stigma. We love quietly tucking charity into our programs, so that support is dignified, anonymous, and includes people, rather than excludes them. Feedback is overwhelming and heart-warming, and even brought on a few goosebumps and tears, so a HUGE thank you if you were one of many who donated to make this possible. You truly saved people’s lives and families… people you might even know.
Extra thanks goes to Second Harvest Canada and Halfmoon Bay Community Association for supporting subsides, Persephone, Brickers & the Halfmoon Bay firehall for volunteering as pickup sites, and United Way BC for our adorable little truck!
Let’s talk about what local food really COSTS.
We’re accustomed to shelves stocked year-round with avocados that float on barges from South America, tomatoes trucked in from Mexico, and garlic & mushrooms from China. But following the trail of cheap garlic or bananas from across the planet reveals the hidden costs to traditional communities, human rights, waterways, soil, nutrition, biodiversity and the animal kingdom.
No, this is about consciously choosing healthy, local food, and building up our local food system so that we are resilient as farms, as families, and as communities.
Freshly harvested, honestly grown food is an experience that brings us to our hearts, to childhood memories of sweet peas and pies, and even to ancestral memories of food held deep in our DNA.
*Real* food quenches an unconscious yearning to connect to the earth and to the spirit of life.
But *real* food can be backbreaking and heartbreaking. This year, farmers reeled from critical inflation and supply issues on seed, fertilizers, tools, land, and equipment, along with a labour crisis, and multiple climate and weather disasters – atmospheric rivers and droughts, topped off with orders to stop watering the crops.
The effects of international inflation hit local farmers first, where cost of living is some of the highest in the world. Local food was costing more than grocery stores this summer, as stores were still able to bargain shop Planet Earth, and buy from countries where working conditions are poor and inflation impacts were a step behind. But it’s catching up with us now. With imported lettuce now at $7/head, and food prices up across the board, we’re all a bit wide-eyed at the grocery bills these days. A CBC Article (here) talks more about this.
A true CSA foodbox means rolling with the farmers and sharing in the rewards and the risks of growing our food right here. Knowing our food is grown here, in this rich beautiful soil, by people making a fair income and using ethical, healthy seed, products and equipment… well, the food simply tastes better. And it might have to cost more.
Thank you so much for nurturing us… Little Red Wagon (Ashley & Bjorn), Grounded Acres Organic Farm (Hannah & Mel), Ruby’s Run Urban Farm (Michelle & Paul), Farmer Dan’s Family Farm (Dan), One Tiny Farm (Geordie & Katy), Heart & Sol (Socrates & Julie), Coastal Sun Greenhouses and Farm (John), Harvest Heart (Evan & Alisha), and The Farm West Sechelt (John & Suzy).
Until next year’s foodbox,