Creation of the Good Food Box Program in Rigolet
The Good Food Box Program was designed to overcome the high cost, limited availability, and low quality of store-bought food in Rigolet.
The Struggle With Store-Bought Food In Rigolet
Store-bought food supplements wild food in Nunatsiavut, and helps to create whole, nutritious meals. But with no road linkages between communities, all food is shipped to Rigolet by plane or boat.
Unpredictable weather, unpaved and unlit runways, and mechanical issues with the coastal ferry all impact deliveries of food to the sole food store in Rigolet.
As a result, healthy store-bought food is expensive, inconsistently available, and generally in a less desirable state by the time it reaches the shelves. This reduces access to healthy food in Rigolet, and creates a reliance on highly processed, cheaper, and generally less nutritious food.
The Good Food Box Program
One solution that came up to address store shortages and the cost of food in Rigolet was to coordinate a group of people to order food in bulk, so residents of Rigolet could share the cost of shipping, and order what they'd like.
The first bulk order was placed in November of 2014. 55 out of 98 households in Rigolet participated. That number went up to 63 in January, amounting to 64% cent of all households in the community.
The Rigolet Community-Led Food Assessment took place at a time when a turkey cost $70 at the only local store, and residents reported meat in stores of was low grade and freezer burned. Participants expressed a need for better access to affordable meat, especially since a ban on hunting caribou came into effect in their community.
By bulk buying directly from a wholesaler, and applying the Nutrition North subsidy, the Program reduces the costs of shipping food to the community and provides participants with better quality, healthier foods, at lower prices. Competition from the program has also driven down prices at the local store, and increased the quality and variety of its offerings.
How It Works
The Good Food Box coordinates bulk food orders once a month, with a primary focus on unprocessed, frozen meat.
In the fall 2017, Des Sellars of Nature's Best Farm in Happy-Valley Goose Bay supplied locally grown produce to support the program in offering local veggie boxes.
Residents can choose between a small, medium, or large
Good Food Box, depending on their income and/or needs. This allows the program to offer a variety of healthy food items to households of varying incomes and sizes.
The program also offers the option to buy individual items of healthy food. Locals schools have also begun using the program to procure better food for its children.