Good Food Stands increase access to healthy food
Food Access has emerged as a theme for poverty reduction in Kingston and Area, providing enhanced access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all residents of KFL&A. As part of the community’s Poverty Reduction Initiative, United Way of KFL&A and the City of Kingston co-chaired a Food Advisory Committee. The committee has worked diligently over the past year to develop strategies to address food access.
With input from service providers and people with lived experience of poverty and food insecurity, an initiative has just been launched to make fresh produce more readily available and affordable for everyone in the community.
On August 27, Good Food Stands will begin popping up across Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, as part of a 12-month pilot project to provide improved food access for individuals and households in our region.
Good Food Stands will be open to the public once a month, offering a variety of fresh produce at reduced prices. No appointment is needed and the community is invited to experience the friendly atmosphere of shopping. The stands are located at five secondary schools throughout the region, including Sydenham High School in Frontenac County.
The locations and schedule for each Good Food Stand can be found at www.goodfoodstand-kfla.ca/
“We recognize that many people experience barriers to accessing sufficient, safe and nutritious food,” says Bhavana Varma, President & CEO of United Way of KFL&A. “It is our hope that the program will make it easier for people across the region to access fresh produce, and as a result, eat healthier. “We are excited about all of the multi-sectoral partnerships that made this initiative come together.”
The Good Food Stand pilot is a collaborative effort with many partners across the region who have come together to co-develop and launch this initiative. The focus is on providing a local, sustainable solution to address food access and its root causes, and on making a difference in our community.
Tony Deodato & Sons Ltd. will supply fresh produce that in turn will be sold to the public at a reduced price. Local school boards and their unions have worked together to arrange for program delivery and support from school volunteers at five high schools in the region.
A coordinator from Kingston Community Health Centres will facilitate program delivery at each school from 3pm to 5:30pm for one afternoon each month during the year.
The use of schools as hubs to connect to community provides lots of opportunity for expansion of the program in the future and provides connections to other programs and initiatives.
The Good Food Stand initiative is supported by the KFL&A Food Access Advisory Committee and co-funded by the City of Kingston, United Way of KFL&A, and the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area. In-kind marketing and evaluation support have been provided by KFL&A Public Health.