People have been coming to Lucknow Community Christian Reformed Church to pick up boxes of fresh produce and enjoy a bit of fellowship each month since 2002. The church in Lucknow, Ont., serves as a venue for sorting, packing, and distributing the produce through the Good Food Box program, an initiative of the Grey-Bruce (County) Health Unit.
The program offers a grocery box filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables for a cost of $15. It’s an effort to promote healthy eating. The need and the program have both grown in recent years, said Rev. Tim Leferink, pastor of Lucknow Community CRC. “In September of 2016, the only grocery store in our small community closed, leaving people to get their groceries from other sources.”
It’s a half-hour drive from Lucknow, a town of just over 1,100 people, to the larger cities of Goderich and Kincardine, and not everyone is able to travel easily to get there for groceries, said Leferink. “The Good Food Box is definitely one way where people can get fresh produce locally and for a great price.”
While the program is not run by the church, Leferink has stepped into the opportunity, volunteering regularly along with four other members of the church and many from the community around it. “Some folks come out simply to help and be a good neighbor,” said Leferink. “But as we work together, I am often asked about the faith and our church.”
By contributing two essentials—workspace and coffee—to the program, the church is inviting the community in. And people are responding, said Leferink. He has had opportunities to discuss faith, offer a listening ear, and pray with people over joys and sorrows they’re experiencing. He reflected, “Through [this service] our church is being a light in the community of Lucknow.”