Shuswap Box offers taste of locally grown, produced food while supporting small-scale farms

Boxes consist of goods provided by Downtown Salmon Arm Farmer’s Market vendors

Organizers and vendors of the Downtown Salmon Arm Farmer’s Market have come up with a convenient way to shop and eat local.

As provincial restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic ease, the number of offerings available through the Saturday farmer’s market in the Ross Street parking lot continues to grow. One those offerings, called the Shuswap Box, allows shoppers to sample from a wide range of the market’s vendors while keeping one’s physical distance.

Available for $25 through the Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers’s Market online ordering page at localline.ca, the Shuswap Box offers a sampling of what’s in season. Each box contains a dozen eggs, a loaf of organic bread and seasonal fruit and/or veggies.

Market organizer and Shuswap Food Action Society president Serena Caner explained the intent behind the Shuswap Box is to get people to try different, locally grown and produced foods, while learning about eating seasonally and supporting local small-scale farmers and producers.

“Small-scale farmers, because they can’t sell in stores, they kind of depend on direct farmgate sales or farmer’s markets…,” said Caner. “So part of it too is just trying to get people to try new foods that grow well in this area… It’s sort of a learning box.”

The Shuswap Box might appeal to adventurous foodies keen to experiment with some of the agricultural bounty the region has to offer.

Caner said the box is also an opportunity to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for people who may not otherwise be able to afford them.

Read more: Distant together: Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers Market returns

Read more: Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers Market returning with online option

“The idea is the box is there for everybody, so anyone can try it but that we would subsidize some of them…,” said Caner, explaining the food included in the box are largely ingredients, requiring access to and use of a kitchen.

To offer those subsidized boxes, available on referral from local social services organizations, an online fundraising effort was launched on mycharitableimpact.com.

“If families can afford to pay, let’s say they can contribute $10 or whatever, that would be great, but we’re not going to turn people away… I think it would be a good choice for people who are maybe temporarily food insecure,” said Caner.

Shuswap Box orders must be made by Thursday evening for pickup on Saturday at the farmer’s market.

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