Fruit and vegetable bags make fresh food affordable
Finding ways to make healthy food accessible and affordable is a challenge, however the Foodtogether initiative offers hope for a convenient solution.
“At the Otara mall there are mostly outlets with fried food and large bottles of fizzy drink. There is no supermarket in Otara and the small food retail shops are expensive,” says East Tamaki PHO Manager Kate Moodabe
The answer potentially lies with Foodtogether, which is a low cost fruit and vegetable box delivered anywhere in Auckland for $3. Those keen to save on the delivery charge can pick-up themselves from one of the 15 Auckland-wide collection points.
“GPs, for instance. who are treating overweight or obese patients could recommend Foodtogether to kick start a healthy food plan. Nutritious food becomes convenient and easy when it’s delivered direct to your door. More people should know about this service, so let’s start spreading the word,” says Medical Officer of Health, Dr Michael Hale from Auckland Regional Public Health Service.
Prices range from $12 up to $36.50 for the Whanau Fiesta Box which will feed a family of four for a week. Produce lists and recipes are posted each week via their Facebook page and email newsletter.
Foodtogether is a social enterprise with 50% of its profits going back into the community. The buying team purchase fresh from the markets on delivery day, selecting the best mix of wholesale seasonal produce.
North Shore Foodtogether co-ordinator Sophie Bond says there’s a real interest in communities about improving the availability and cost of good food. “People want to be part of their local food supply and this also provides opportunities for people to network, engage and connect”.
“With a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables for only $15, those on lower budgets say they don’t need to make sacrifices to put money towards good food” says Sophie.
Within four hours of the buyer leaving the market, the produce is bagged, distributed and ready for customers to collect from their pre-arranged pick-up point