Good Food Box

What is the Bow Valley Good Food Box?

The Bow Valley Good Food Box (GFB) is a program organised by Bow Valley Food Alliance utilizing staff and volunteers from Town of Banff, Canmore Primary Care Network, ID 9, MD of Bighorn and Stoney Heath Services through the local Farm Box/Organics Box business so you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables (produce) at wholesale cost. The Good Food Box is a hands-up program as opposed to a hand-out. This offers sustainable access to nutritious food to ensure that no one has to go hungry.

How Does the GFB Operate? The GFB operates by buying fresh top quality produce directly from farmers and wholesale suppliers. The food is bought in bulk and delivered to the Edmonton warehouse. Boxes contain the maximum fresh fruits and vegetables possible in them for the price. Each monthly box contains a similar mixture of staple produce, though some of the contents will change seasonally.

February 2021 Good Food Box Contents

Feb 21 GFB

Boxes are assembled by the professional Organics Box staff (who utilize all the latest recommended safe food handling processes) and delivered at our pick-up depots by dedicated volunteers who along with the Bow Valley Christmas Spirit Campaign and Canmore Rotary desire to see individuals and families accessing affordable nutritious food.

Order Online with credit or debit card by 9 am on the Order Deadline (see dates below) via 

Customised contents for a box is NOT possible.

FAQ’s at Bow Valley Good Food Box Facebook page and more info at Canmore PCN. Call Community Services if you still need more information or to volunteer; 403-673-3611, ext 223.

This program allows all residents of the Bow Valley to get 20-25 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables for $30. Good Food Boxes (GFB) will be delivered to Exshaw for folks who live, work or go to school in MD Bighorn and Kananaskis on Monday, once a month. **If we get enough GFB orders (2 or more) for particular Hamlets or areas, we can arrange a pick-up spot there with some volunteers in that area. Payment is required at time of order placement and the boxes must be picked up on the depot’s date and timeWe do NOT order extra boxes, so plan ahead and order by the deadline.  

Any boxes not picked up will be donated to a local food security program. 

Thanks to the generous support of Bow Valley Christmas Spirit Campaign and Canmore Rotary a reduced price of $25 per box is available to area residents who:
- have an annual income below Single Individual $33,045 or Family/Couple $66,090, or
have been recently impacted financially by the COVID-99 Pandemic containment measures, or 
- are volunteers with the GFB program. 
- if you need a more affordable option during COVID-19 contact Community Services early to see if a Pay What You Can box is available. 

All orders are placed online and you specify your pick up location as one of the following "cities": Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise or Exshaw.  There are no credit or debit card processing fees with this local supplier.

If you need a more affordable option, do not have a credit or debit card to order online and need to pay via cash please contact Community Services via phone or email by at least 1 week prior to the order deadline to make arrangements for payment or class credits use and we will place your online order for you.

Order & Pay DeadlinesPick-up DatesPick-up Depot LocationsPick-up Hours
Monday at 9 am
If you need to pay via cash/debit card or need a "Pay What You Can" box please contact Community Services at least 1 week prior to the order deadline 
Exshaw - MD Office upper parking lot; double garage
Dead Man’s Flats
Harvie Heights 
Hwy 40/Jamieson Rd
Lac des Arcs
Kananaskis street in front of Post Office.
4-6 pm arrive as early as possible
**details emailed
in Canmore
**details emailed
**details emailed
5 pm via red Tim Horton Camp Van
Monday, March 8/21March 15/21monthly, as above
monthly, as above
Monday, April 12/21April 19/21

Monday, May 10/21May 17/21

Monday, June 14/21June 21/21

further dates To Be Announced 

This Bow Valley wide affordable fruit and vegetable program is brought you in partnership with:
Town of Banff, MD of Bighorn, Primary Care Network, Improvement District 9, Bow Valley Food Alliance, Stoney Health Services with generous support of Bow Valley Christmas Spirit Campaign, Canmore Rotary, and Farm Box. 

**This program would not be possible without the generous support and assistance of community volunteers who help to distribute the boxes to MD Hamlets, Kananaskis and Stoney Nakoda Nation from the Exshaw depot.  Volunteers will be at the Exshaw depot during pick-up hours on GFB days.

Here is a bit more information about the Bow Valley Good Food Box (GFB) program which addresses an excellent question/comment that may also be on your mind:

“While I appreciate the notion of introducing new and unusual veggies and fruit [to the Good Food Box] … I do find this a reason to potentially discontinue my purchasing.  When it is filled with relatively common … purchased items or common treats the box provides financial relief and eliminates a grocery store trip.  However when it includes a giant 5 lb. Taro root and a leek … I want the group to know that the shift to unusual contents is impacting my motivation to participate ...”

It may help to explain why the GFB, which is about access to affordable produce and not about personal convenience, are sometimes more heavily influenced by Asian food items. These have been added to make the GFB more useful to the large numbers of area new Canadians and Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) in the Bow Valley many of whom are area residents with the lowest income and have been most severely impacted by COVID 19 measures.  In the scheme of the whole Bow Valley all the program partners agreed that it is most important to assist the most possible lowest income and most severely COVID impacted residents with this accessibility program.   We already know that the rather random nature of getting a GFB, without being able to order what is in it, is not workable for some low income residents but is workable and useful for most others.  

We feel that providing some produce variety with preparation ideas and recipes will be interesting and a little bit adventuresome for those of modest to middle income (in Banff, Canmore, KC and MD) and be of better service by providing access to more culturally appropriate foods for low income new Canadians and TFWs.  This change has resulted in larger participation by our immigrant population, if we begin to have more participation in the program by Stoney Nakoda nation members, our selection may be modified further. 

We now provide a list of what will be in the GFB late in the week prior to delivery so participants can use that information to plan their grocery shopping, rather than the produce being a complete surprise like it was when we were using Calgary Community Kitchens to provide the boxes (when we also had so much plastic and cardboard waste with the program).  Having more participants who pay the full price means we can get more produce for our collective buck (through bulk buying) than if it was run for low income users only.  

We welcome your thoughts and comments via email on our regional attempts to balance needs of lowest income area residents with those of moderate to middle incomes with this Bow Valley Good Food Box program.