Just three days remain for district residents to vote for the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market “Community Food Box” program in order to send it to the semi-finals of a competition by the Aviva Community Fund.
Twenty submissions with the highest number of votes will be selected to join the 40 other entries already in the semi-finals looking to earn a share of $500,000 in funding.
As of press time today, their food box idea had received 173 votes.
For more than a year now, food boxes containing an assortment of locally-grown fruits and vegetables have been distributed once a month to Emo, Rainy River, Atikokan, and Kenora to promote healthy lifestyles.
This project also supports positive economic development within the local farm community.
But organizer Kim Cornell noted storage and transportation are their two big obstacles.
“We want to do some sort of appropriate vegetable storage at the [farmers’ market],” he explained.
“We’ve got growers really keen to grow and we’re developing a program where there’s an outlet for that product, but storage is an issue.
“All the small growers can’t afford to do storage,” Cornell stressed. “So if we could offer storage, we could support the smaller growers.”
After storage, Cornell said transportation is their next challenge.
“We need to do something about refrigerated transportation, or obviously in January, heated transportation,” he remarked, saying right now the CVFM directors are running around Northwestern Ontario with their own vehicles providing the service.
Those interested in supporting the local idea—and giving it a push to the semi-finals—can vote at www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf3715
Cornell said people are able to vote once each day.