The Green Food Bag program has been suspended indefinitely.
South Dundas recreation and program coordinator Ben Macpherson reported that November 19 will be the last pick up date for the program that has recently seen a large decline in participation.
The green food bag program was essentially a service the municipality provided to its residents. Those participating would pay $10 to receive a bag of fresh produce. The money was pooled and used to buy items in larger quantities at a savings, thus providing program participants with a variety of fresh produce at a great value.
“At the peak of the program in 2012 there were an average of 130 bags being purchased monthly.
In January, 71 green food bags were ordered and this month it dropped to 31.
“Thirty-one bags allows for $310 to purchase produce to fill the bags,” said Mcpherson. “With the rising cost of produce, especially in winter, this will be a difficult task and will amount to a limited variety and quantity of fruits and vegetables.”
Along with the decline in participation, the program, which relies on volunteer manpower, has been struggling to recruit volunteer help.
“The program has relied on the same five people for several years. Recently, two of these people have decided to step away from the program, increasing the workload on the others who remain. Attempts to recruit volunteers have been unsuccessful.