The Good Food Box (GFB) is a program that has been run by the Smiths Falls Lions Club in partnership with RCHS since 2009. This program has been paramount in offering affordable fresh fruit and vegetables to the community. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to close the Good Food Box program. In response to this, the Town of Smiths Falls partnered with RCSH and The Lions Club, organizing volunteers to deliver the boxes. Throughout the pandemic, the GFB has been in full operation while keeping the community safe and continuing to meet our food security needs. Through generous donations from the community, RCHS has been able to subsidize close to 200 large and 100 small “good food boxes” to individuals and families in need.
Rideau Community Health Services has seen a surge of support and generosity from our communities, which has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been fortunate to receive a grant for a coalition supporting food security from the Town of Smiths Falls in both 2020 and 2021, as well as a grant from Lanark County in support of the RCHS Brown Bag Lunch program in 2020-2021, which was organized by The Royal Canadian Legion in Smiths Falls. They prepared 150 brown bagged lunches twice per week for the community.
We are seeing more and more generosity from people who want to donate their time, resources, fresh food and more. For example, one of our partners, Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford, facilitated, donated, and helped distribute over 1000 pounds of fresh produce this past summer. They have also donated countless volunteer hours since the pandemic started. Several businesses in Merrickville help keep the Emergency Food Cupboard well stocked, like Nana B’s Bakery who supplies us with bread monthly. Healthily Ever After and Merrickville Food Market accept food donations on our behalf, offer generous discounts on food and provide specialty food items for those who have special food needs. Main Street Restaurant has partnered with RCHS to provide hot meals and community holiday meals throughout the pandemic. Many other community members and businesses continue to provide ongoing support throughout the year (a full list of our partners is included below). Without this amazing and generous community support, the Emergency Food Cupboard would not exist.
Many of the local food banks in the Grenville area have a special relationship with the Grenville Federation of Agriculture (GFA). The GFA is the voice of agriculture in the community and advocates on behalf of farm families. Through the GFA, a group of volunteer farmers tend to approximately 130 acres of soy. The profits from the sale are then donated to organizations such as Rideau Community Health Services’ Emergency Food Cupboard (EFC) in Merrickville. Last year, the GFA was able to donate more than $20,000 to organizations that support food security, to ensure those in need have access to healthy food. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and support for RCHS and the communities we serve.
The below list names some of our many community partners (there are many more including the residents of our communities who we greatly rely on). Thank you for your ongoing support and generosity.
- Violets on Main (previously Nana B’s Bakery)
- Merrickville Car Show Club
- Main Street Restaurant
- Herb White Automotive
- Baladachin Restaurant
- Merrickville Preparatory Academy
- Healthily Ever After
- Merrickville Food Market
- Mrs. McGarrigles
- Brockville Superstore
- Flycreek Farm
- Little Window Farm
- Of Field and Forest
- Bluegrass Farm
- Prescott Food Bank
- The Table Community Food Centre
- Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford