About JustFood

JustFood is a food program run through the YWCA of Peterborough, Victoria, and Haliburton that provides two healthy food boxes, once a month, to individuals in the Peterborough community city and county.

The JustFood program provides access to affordable healthy food boxes for everyone!

There are two different types of food box – the Staples Box and the Fresh Produce Box. There are two different sizes of box as well – small and large.

“It’s wonderful. I have been telling people and they say: ‘What? This much food for ten dollars?’ They can’t believe it. I say: ‘Phone the YWCA’”.
– JustFood participant

Fresh Food Box

Fresh Produce Box
Fresh, beautiful, mostly local, fruits and vegetables.

Small:                                                              Large:
$12.00 Regular Price                                $20.00 regular price
$6.00 Subsidy Price                                  $10.00 subsidy price

Staples Box
Staples such as bread, rice, pasta, canned soups and some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Small:                                                              Large:
$11.00 Regular Price                                $15.00 regular price
$5.00 Subsidy Price                                  $7.00 subsidy price

**The Subsidy Price
It is entirely up to the individual if they wish to receive subsidy or not.

Participant Testimonials:

“My husband and I are so glad we signed up for this program. Each month we are just a wee bit excited to see the box of healthy food selected for us. We enjoy trying the recipes. It is a great, progressive action for Peterborough. Thank you”

“It helps me out a lot, especially my little boy (who) always says: ‘Are we doing to get bananas?’ My kids like it a lot”

“It’s wonderful that its open to everyone. I would not get it otherwise because of the stigma”

“I just want to say what a great help it is to get the food boxes. We are seniors living on a fixed income. I especially like the Fresh box and think its a good idea to help our local farmers. The food is always good quality. I appreciate the help of the volunteers to distribute the food. Thank you all, I hope it continues. I shall continue to get the boxes as long as I can pick up. Thank you all!”

“I see it’s mostly from Ontario and Canada and it’s great. Otherwise you don’t have an opportunity to get this at the stores. Local food is the best – the quality and taste is better and it reduces the environmental impact. Ontario is more than able to produce most of these things. We think this is great.”

“It helps me out a lot. If they ever drop this program, I’d be lost for food. I really would. The food box helps me out to the end of the month. I love the food boxes.”

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Who can become involved?
Everyone who is interested in eating well and saving money on their grocery bill is welcome to participate!

Why be involved?
Some of the advantages of being involved are

  • Saving money on groceries!
  • Getting more for less
  • Meeting new people
  • Helping in your own community
  • Buying locally and supporting local farmers
  • Trying out new veggies and fruit
  • Eating healthy
  • Learning new recipies

Sounds good! How does it work?
Participants can order JustFood boxes, as an individual or family, in one of two ways:

  1. Join a JustFood group close to where you live by contacting the Food Action Worker (705-743-3526), or
  2. Order separately by placing your order in person at our administrative office (located at 216 Simcoe Street, Peterborough, ON)

Each participant pays for their own box when they place their order.
Payment for Staples boxes is due on or before the 8th of the month, and payment for Produce boxes is due on or before the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

The JustFood Worker orders food for the boxes from local stores and wholesalers and, during the growing season, from local farmers whenever possible. Volunteers and staff pack the food boxes each month. The Staples boxes are packed and distributed on the third Wednesday of each month and the Fresh Produce boxes are packed and distributed the fourth Wednesday of each month.

For more information, please contact the Food Action Worker at 705-743-3526 or email info@ywcapeterborough.org.


Interested in Volunteering with JustFood?
The JustFood program is always seeking dedicated volunteers to assist with packing and delivery. Please contact the Food Action Worker at 705-743-3526 or fill out our online application form.

Share the Bounty
With a donation of $6 – $10 you can make healthy food affordable. To support the JustFood program, please call (705) 743-3526.

Packing the Boxes

Fresh Local Food, Ready for Delivery

Our original Food Box program was specifically designed to meet the needs of those who were struggling financially. Between October 1999 and June 2002, we received a subsidy from the City of Peterborough. During this time, the subsidy contributed $10 to each box. The participants paid $11 (of which $1 went to cover transportation costs). This meant we had a total of $20 to spend on each box. At one point we were packing 500 boxes a month. During this time $11 bought groceries worth between $30 and $35.

When the subsidy ended in June of 2002, we revamped the program, taking steps to open it up to the entire community. While our focus remained the same – working to secure good, affordable food for those struggling financially – our route to that goal changed. Listening to participants we could see that barriers existed right across the economic and social spectrum for accessing health food. For example, we saw that many working people are so overwhelmed with work and family responsibilities that shopping for variety and nutrition can get lost in the shuffle. We heard from seniors and parents of young children that getting out to the stores was often very difficult.

In June we introduced the first Fresh Produce box and in October started a Seniors’ box. In 2004, our small Staples Box replaced the Seniors’ Box. This change allowed us to continue to meet the needs of seniors who prefer a small box, while broadening the market for this box to small families and singles.

We offer two sizes of both Fresh Produce and Staples boxes – Large and Small. The Fresh Produce boxes consist of fruit, vegetables, and sometimes a herb. The Staples boxes consist of a variety of groceries, such as bread and canned food, as well as some fruits and vegetables. Until October, 2006, the Fresh Produce boxes cost $20 and $12 and the Staples boxes cost $15 and $11.

Since October of 2006, we have received funding from various government and private sources, and we are currently engaged in efforts to secure long-term funding so that everyone has access to healthy food. Because of this funding we have been able to offer the JustFood boxes at half-price since 2006, and this will continue until further notice. The Fresh Produce box, full prices remain as before, and subsidized prices are not $10 and $6. The Staples box full prices remain as before, and the subsidized prices are now $7 and $5. It is entirely up to the individual if they wish to receive subsidy or not. We continue to try and improve JustFood in ways that meet people’s changing needs.

Awesome Corn

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