Program to continue offering accessibility to fresh produce for another year

One of the five Good Food Stands which operated from August 2018 to June 2019 at area high schools, offering fresh produce at reduced prices. Photo via the United Way KFLA.

After a year of successfully increasing accessibility to fresh produce, the Good Food Stand Program will continue as a pilot program for another year.

Good Food Stands began popping up in area schools in 2018 as the result of the community’s Poverty Reduction Initiative. The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) and the City of Kingston co-chair a Food Advisory Committee, which worked to develop strategies to address food access. After consulting with service providers and people with lived experience in poverty, the idea for Good Food Stands emerged as a means to make fresh produce available and affordable for everyone in the community.

From August 2018 to June 2019, Good Food Stands in the KFL&A region were visited 1,600 times, with over 5,300 kilograms of fresh food sold at affordable prices.

A Good Food Stand at Bayridge Secondary School during the 2018-2019 season of the program. Submitted photo.

“We recognize that many people experience barriers to accessing sufficient, safe and nutritious food,” said Bhavana Varma, President & CEO of United Way of KFL&A. “It is our hope that the program will continue to 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 and continue to support it.”

For the second year of the pilot program, Good Food Stands will be open to the public once a month. Local school boards and their unions have worked together to arrange for program deliver and support from school volunteers. Five high schools in the region will participate again for the 2019-2020 season, and Verona Free Methodist Church has been added as a location for the coming season to “to better serve the rural community,” the United Way of KFL&A said in a press release. No appointments are needed, and the Good Food Stands will be available at the following locations:

  • Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School
  • Sydenham High School
  • Verona Free Methodist Church
  • Napanee District Secondary School
  • Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute
  • Bayridge Secondary School

For the locations and schedule of each Good Food Stand, go to www.goodfoodstand-kfla.ca. The new season for the program will begin the week of Monday, Aug. 26, 2019.

A Good Food Stand at Sydenham High School during the 2018-2019 season of the program. Submitted photo.

The Good Food Stand program is a collaborative effort with many partners across the region. Tony Deodato & Sons Ltd. will continue to supply fresh produce that in turn will be sold to the public at a reduced price. A coordinator from Kingston Community Health Centres will also continue to facilitate program delivery at each school and at the new church location. Generally, Good Food Stands will operate from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for one afternoon of each month during the year, and one morning a month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the church location.

“The focus is on providing a local sustainable solution to address food access and its root causes, and making a difference in the community,” the United Way of KFL&A said.

The Good Food Stand initiative is supported by the KFL&A Food Access Advisory Committee and co-funded by the City of Kingston, Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, and United Way of KFL&A, with in-kind marketing and evaluation support provided by KFL&A Public Health.

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