Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Neva Hassanein

Commitee Members

Blakely Brown, Josh Slotnick


Canada, community food security, food access, local food, scaling out, Good Food Box


University of Montana


The Good Food Box (GFB) program holds a great deal of promise to expand our understanding of Community Food Security (CFS). CFS represents a vision for solving hunger and other problems with the food system through an integrated approach that improves access to good and appropriate food for all while at the same time building community, strengthening local agricultural economies, and maximizing social justice. The GFB, one type of CFS program, is a community-based initiative found across Canada that provides a box of healthy food to customers at near wholesale prices; it has the potential to increase access to healthy food, develop alternative distribution channels, link producers more closely with consumers, build community connections, and more. Yet despite the fact that over 50 unique GFB programs exist across Canada, little research has been done on how these myriad programs are structured and function, how this program model has spread to and been adapted by communities across Canada, and how individual programs operate while balancing multiple goals and priorities. This paper, based on qualitative interviews with managers at 21 GFB programs across Canada, explores the diversity of GFB programs in Canada, and how these programs balance multiple priorities along with day-to-day logistical constraints. GFB programs functioning across Canada have diverse goals, tensions sometimes arise when balancing multiple goals, and programs have found various ways to resolve these tensions. Moreover, GFB programs are educating and empowering people in their communities, as well as networking and learning among themselves. This is one of the first studies describing the breadth of GFB programs across Canada, and some of the findings have not been identified in previous scholarship. I describe the variety of program structures, the main priorities and goals that the programs identify, and some of the tensions and innovations that arise when working to balance the multiple goals and dimensions of CFS. I also discuss how programs communicate and learn from each other, and how the GFB in Canada can help us understand the CFS movement more generally.



© Copyright 2013 Stephanie Lentz Laporte Potts