At the District of Houston council chambers on Mar. 21, councillor Jonathan Van Barneveld reported that the HLTL will behaving soon be having their last Good Food Box program order for this year.
“The last intake is coming up here shortly, and they are hoping that everyone will push for one last sign up,” said VanBarneveld.
Van Barneveld said the Good Food Box program’s orders have ebbed and flowed and that the HLTL is hoping for a large order to justify running the program again next year.
“Initially it started well but continuing orders have been difficult to maintain even though everyone who has purchased a box has been really happy with the contents and the value for money,” said Marian Ells, program manager for the HoustonLink to Learning. “When we started we had about 20 orders each time but in the last two months we have dropped to nine this week and six the previous time.”
Ells says that everyone the HLTL has talked to has said that they love the idea of this program but few follow through with an order.
”I guess it takes a while to establish a new routine but with no grocery store we are surprised that we have not had more orders. Unfortunately this is a use it or lose it program. We cannot sustain this beyond the funding without a large increase in orders,” said Ells.
The Houston Link to Learning has simplified the process so that residents can now order by calling the HLTL office at 250-845-2727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, but payments are still required by the deadline of the order being made.There is now an option for families to buy a small sized box with approximately 12 lbs of fruit and vegetables for $15. The full sized box of 22 lbs will still be available at $25.
Though, orders have started to decrease, HLTL has still be able to donated at least one, and often two boxes to a family inHouston in need said Ells.
”This is such a good service and it would be a real shame to see Houston lose something else but if it’s not being used we have no choice,” said Ells.
There will be three more chances for people to still order. Next payment and order deadline is Mar. 31 for a pick up on April4. Following that is order deadline April 13 for pick up on April 17, and finally a deadline on April 28 for pick up on May 2.