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Chefs cooking up dishes to celebrate program's anniversary

It's happening at this week's Urban Park market
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A cooking challenge is marking the 10th anniversary of a grassroots program.

At this week's Urban Park market the Anti-hunger Coalition Timmins (ACT) is having The Good Food Box Challenge: A Culinary Competition.

This week's market is on Third Avenue between Balsam and Maple.

Three celebrity chefs — Diane Rochefort, Brianna Humphrey and Michael Yorke — will be making meals with the produce found in the large food box. They'll also be given $15 in market cash to buy additional items, and are allowed to bring a secret ingredient. 

“It’s really to see how these chefs utilize the Good Food Box, raise awareness about the program and see what kind of cool dishes could be made from the Good Food Box program,” said Jennifer Vachon, ACT executive director.

The chefs will have 45 minutes to make their dish, which will be judged by Vachon, Noella Rinaldo, and Merv Russell.

After the judges have chosen the winner, people will be able to sample the dishes.

The Good Food Box is a cost-efficient way to access healthy food, and helps raise money for the organization.

It's available once a month and features fresh produce, some of which is sourced from local farmers. The large box contains eight to 10 items, while the small box is and has five to eight items.

People purchase them in advance and pick them up on a set date at one of the host sites.

Over the past few years, Vachon said the number of users has been pretty steady. 

Different aspects have been added to the program in that time as well.

"Through the years, the Good Food Box program has had many opportunities to grow and expand, enabling increased access to healthy affordable food. We’ve transitioned from offering only one box size to two in 2015 to better meet the needs of both families and singles. In 2018 we introduced a home delivery system, recognizing that transportation is one of the main barriers associated with accessing healthy food," she said.

"Within the past 10 years we've packed just over 9,300 Good Food Boxes, and over $34,000 has been invested directly in our local economy by purchasing local farm-grown produce."


Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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