Free fruit and vegetables distributed to local seniors
By Jenn Watt
One hundred seniors in Haliburton County are receiving Good Food Boxes, filled with fresh produce once a month, funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program and organized by the Rotary Club of Haliburton.
The initiative, which will provide the fruit and vegetables to the seniors for free until the end of June, is made possible with $5,500 that came to the club through the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes, which administers the funding.
Rotarian Brian Nash said the connection was made when Penny Barton Dyke, executive director of the CKL United Way, spoke to the local club in the winter about food security.
“We stayed in touch and then this funding came through and they contacted us and said, ‘if we got you some money, could you increase the saturation of the Good Food Box into that age group?’ And so we said, ‘Sure. Absolutely,’” said Nash. On Thursday, May 21, Haliburton’s Rotarians were out in force, filling up more than 300 bags with apples, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, baby carrots, potatoes and broccoli.
They set up long tables in the parking lot of the Haliburton arena, allowing for physical distancing protocols to be observed. The bags of fruit and veggies were then loaded into vehicles bound for Cardiff, Gooderham, Wilberforce, Minden, Haliburton, Stanhope, Dorset, Kinmount and West Guilford.
The seniors funding provides for 100 bags sent out for free. The other 210 bags were paid for by the program’s customers, who pay $15 each.
Nash said he consulted with Kate Hall from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit about the best way to reach the most seniors who could use a free Good Food Box and she suggested going through the corporations that oversee housing for low-income seniors. The managers of those buildings put the word out to their tenants.
“We haven’t delivered there before,” Nash said. “... It’s our hope that we’ll continue with a number of recipients at the housing corporations [who] will continue to get it at a cost of $15. Of course, it’s fabulous value.”
The Good Food Box is available for anyone interested in receiving it. It must be ordered ahead of time.
Find more details at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/201 or call Brian Nash at 705-455-9388.