The SEED creates and enhances programs designed to increase physical and financial access to healthy foods in Guelph. Our current programs include The Garden Fresh Box, Emergency Food Provision, and the soon to be piloted Community Food Markets.
The Garden Fresh Box
Garden Fresh Box is a non-profit produce buying program that provides customers with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables and supports our local farmers. It is a volunteer-supported program funded by The City of Guelph and The United Way. Garden Fresh Box has 15 pick up and payment locations throughout the city of Guelph, one in Cambridge, and one in Fergus. To learn more and purchase a box, visit www.gardenfreshbox.ca!
Emergency Food Provision
The SEED’s Emergency Food Provision enterprise was formed in response to several criticisms of, and concerns around the emergency food supply in Guelph. In the report completed by The Task Force for Poverty Elimination and The Research Shop that detailed the experiences of food bank users, clients accessing emergency food services felt that the amount of food they were able to acquire was inadequate, particularly in the case of nutritious and/or fresh food, as well as various high-demand items. Food providers themselves felt they had a lack of adequate staff, volunteers, and had insufficient space for food storage, particularly when offered larger donations.
The SEED has established and operationalized The POD, a 1,000 square foot warehouse space equipped with a 300 square foot walk in cooler. The POD is the space where produce is aggregated, stored, and then distributed to our emergency food partners and other programs.
One other critical finding from the report was that food bank users felt stigmatized in accessing emergency food services. They were asked to present documentation proving they receive social assistance, and there has been ongoing confusion and frustration around intake procedures. The SEED has partnered exclusively with organizations that do not have invasive intake procedures, and have a focus on providing their clients and guests with healthy food. These groups are featured below.