+BOX (PlusBox) – a program designed to fight food insecurity by working alongside school districts to provide boxes filled with healthy and nutrient-rich foods for students and their families – receives funding from the City of Encinitas and the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation.
The City of Encinitas’ Community Grant and funding from the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation will help support +BOX’s Local Greens Project, which is intended to integrate more locally grown produce into the +BOX program. Each +BOX, provided weekly, includes enough food for 10 healthy meals . The program distributes 500 to 600 boxes at five schools throughout North County each week.
“In addition to adding fresher and more nutrient rich fruits and vegetables into our boxes, the Local Greens project will also increase our support for local farmers by integrating more locally grown produce into our nutrition security program in a way that creates increased value for farmers and nutrition insecure families,” said Wesley Burt, executive director, and founder of Equation Collaborative, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that manages and operates +BOX, and one of the program’s original creators.
Many American farmers fail to generate enough revenue to turn a profit, let alone make a living. In San Diego County, where agriculture is the fifth largest industry, 74 percent of farmers say they must earn additional income outside of farming. Almost 80 percent of farms in San Diego are considered small and most of them struggle to generate enough revenue to survive .
Moreover, nutrition security programs distribute more than 36 million pounds of food every year, but only about 30 percent are typically fresh produce. There is still a gap of more than 13 million meals per month to ensure San Diegans basic needs are met.
The Local Greens Project is designed to invest in our local agriculture economy by purchasing and then distributing higher quality, fresher, and more nutrient rich produce to food insecure students and their families. In doing so, +BOX can also support a local food system that is more sustainable.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five people in San Diego County were food insecure. Now, one in three San Diegans experience food insecurity, which means they are unable to provide three nutritious meals per day for themselves or their families. Almost 40% of children in San Diego are food insecure.
To give to the Local Greens Fund, donate here.
+BOX’s warehouse and distribution center is in Carlsbad. They are always looking for volunteers to participate in their Pack Outs – Monday through Thursday at 4:00 p.m. – where they assemble and pack-up boxes with healthy and nutritious ingredients for food insecure students and their families. For details, visit www.plus-box.org/volunteer.
+BOX is a 501c3 nonprofit that relies on the generosity of its supporters. Donors are welcome to make a tax-deductible donation via www.plus-box.org/give-a-box. For more information, visit www.plus-box.org.