Click below to download printable PDF version of GFB Program Outline and Depot Rules & Conditions:


GFB Depot Rules & Conditions

Good Food Box Program Outline

The Good Food Box Mission:
The Good Food Box makes top-quality, fresh food available in a way that does not stigmatize people, fosters community development and promotes healthy eating.

What is the Good Food Box?
The Good Food Box (GFB) is a program under the Community Kitchen Program of Calgary whereby we purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at a very low cost from growers and distributors in Calgary. The Good Food Box is a hand-up program as opposed to hand-out. We offer all Calgarians and surrounding areas sustainable access to nutritious food to ensure that everyone has the ability to afford fresh produce so no one has to go hungry. The boxes are put together and delivered by dedicated volunteers who along with The Community Kitchen Program desire to see individuals and families accessing affordable nutritious food.

How the Good Food Box Works:

We have the same buying power as all the big chain grocery stores. We buy directly from the growers and distributors themselves. Ordering produce through these companies in bulk we get a bulk discount, and because we are a not for profit organization we don’t mark up our boxes and the discount gets passed on to our buyers. We have several growers and distributors that send their price list into us on a weekly basis. Produce fluctuates in price from week to week depending on availability, weather or the season. From this price list, we go through and compile who has the lowest prices for that week on every individual item. This determines what types of produce and from what distributor I’ll be purchasing from and how my boxes will be build that week.

We have 130 depots in and around Calgary and the area that place orders for Good Food Box. A depot is a volunteer person that is an outreach for us in their community. A depot may consist of a school, church, community centre, seniors complex, agencies and some even do this through their private residence. People/clients would locate the nearest depot to them threw phoning CKP, going to our website or word of mouth. At the depot people can order, pay and pick up their GFB (Good Food Box). Depots will fax or email their orders once a month. We currently have 1200-1500 pre-paid boxes per month, because of this volume we run 3 weeks out of the month, delivering to different quadrants of the city 3 days a week.

After my orders come in and are processed and the produce has been purchased, it takes about 6 days for my produce to arrive in Calgary. When the produce arrives on Monday at the growers and distributors, our warehouse staff at CKP drive to pick it up. When produce arrives at our warehouse it is checked over for quality and proper quantity and bags are counted according to the count of boxes for that week’s delivery. Monday evening, a group of 10–20 volunteers comes in to individually bag and organize the produce for the individual boxes on Tuesday. We bag the produce that is required by Alberta Health and Safety, the rest is to divide the quantities of apples, tomatoes, oranges etc. for boxing convenience Tuesday another group of 15-25
volunteers come in the afternoon or evening to build the boxes. All the produce that was ordered is separated on their individual pallets and spread out according to the durable to delicate nature of the produce on either side of a conveyor belt.

In an assembly line fashion, empty boxes are placed on the roller belts and volunteers place pre counted produce for each individual box as it goes down the line. I explain to the volunteers that they must maximize their space in the box to ensure that all the produce fits. I use the example to package your box like you’re playing the game Tetris. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are our delivery days. Each day is a designated zone in the city that depots are delivered to. In the morning our trucks are loaded with a pre counted boxes of small, medium and large for the stops the driver will make for that day. Our company uses large cube vans with refer (refrigeration) units. This allows us to keep the produce at a constant temperature to ensure optimal
freshness and to prevent damage to the product. Using Google Earth, I have all 130 depots pinned. This allows me to plan my driver’s routes from the top of the zone to the bottom in order to make the route most efficient. Two invoices are printed for the driver. One invoice is signed by the depot as proof that they received their boxes.

That invoice is handed back to the driver with the money for the order, placed in a sealed envelope and put into a locked box in the truck. The second invoice is signed by the driver stating he received the correct amount of money and handed back to the depot as proof of purchase. The driver repeats this method until the entire route in that zone is completed for that day. Once the driver is finished his route, he returns to the warehouse to drop off the lock box with invoices and the money to the GFB manager. From there, the program manager and/or staff member will go through each envelope
and double check that the funds are correct to each invoice. The person counting the money will initial the invoice to confirm that the amount is correct, as well as stating where the payment received was cash or cheque. When all invoices are correct and accounted for, they are submitted to our accountant and filled. All the money received is totalled and submitted to the accountant or operations manager to be deposited at the bank.

Starting a Good Food Box Depot:
We rely on our dedicated depots and volunteers to run the program. Currently, we are expanding our program and are reaching all areas of Calgary and surrounding areas. In order for a depot to be delivered to, they must have 5 or more boxes. Anything under 5 boxes must come to our warehouse for pickup. To become a depot, a one-page application form must be filled out and faxed or emailed into our office. The form can be obtained by phoning or emailing The Community Kitchen Program, or printed off from our company website. A depot is responsible for collecting orders and payment
from the community or clients they serve. Payment must be made in cash from individual clients, only the depots and organizations themselves can write a cheque for purchases. For example, if a church is a depot, we will accept a company cheque from the church.

When a person is looking to become a depot, they have the choice between two different kinds of depots, an internal depot or a public depot. An internal depot is for agencies that offer this service to clients within house. Such as schools, senior centres, women’s shelters. These are for depots that only want this service offered to their clientele. A public depot is a depot open to the public. Any person looking for a depot would be directed to order a GFB from their nearest location. For example, church, community centre and some private residence. Public depots are listed on CKP website for easy access and information. The whole purpose of this particular program is to put fresh, affordable produce on the table of people who otherwise would go without.

Depot Rules & Conditions

1. Produce is purchased in bulk, but only enough for total boxes ordered. We strive for the best and freshest produce. Please inform us of any spoiled produce, bring back spoiled produce to our warehouse within 2 days of Depot delivery, and we will replace it for you.

2. Minimum Depot delivery is 5 boxes, less than 5 boxes must be picked up from our warehouse. All orders must be in by Tuesday’s designated date for your area. Orders can be added too or revised up until 3PM Tuesday. ANY ORDERS summited after 3PM Tuesday WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.

3. ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED AT ALL DEPOTS. It is the responsibility of the Depot to collect all orders and money for the Good Food Boxes. Money must be ready and counted before we arrive. Depots must have all moneys ready to hand over to the driver when the boxes are delivered. NO PERSONAL CHEQUES, WE ARE CASH ONLY BASIS. The only exception is we will accept a (one) cheque from the Depot or organization running the Depot. All orders must be paid for in advance before placing your order.

4. Accurate information is critical for us to complete orders as quickly as possible. Please provide reachable numbers. Update all contact and delivery info ASAP when needed. If we cannot contact you, your order will be held at our warehouse for up to 3 days and must be picked up.

5. Please be patient with us, it is difficult to estimate delivery times. Delivery times may vary due to volume and number of Depots ordering, or variables beyond our control. However, the drivers can give 20 minutes advance notice by way of a phone call before leaving a Depot.

Thank you for being a volunteer outreach in your community!