Frequently Asked Questions
What size bag should I get?
We give suggestions above about how many people our bags might feed. This is just a guide as we all eat different amounts of veg. The quantity in your bags may also vary over the year as the price of food changes. Fresh produce is most expensive when it is scarce, in the late spring (known as the ‘hungry gap’), and cheapest during gluts, at the end of summer and in early autumn. We suggest that you sign up to the bag which sounds most appropriate for you or your household for a month. If you decide you want more or less veg, we can easily switch you over to a different sized bag the following month.
Can I choose what’s in my bag?
We are offering ‘Food from your culture’ bags so you can select the origins of some of the items in your bag. Unfortunately, we’re only a small enterprise so we don’t have the resources to offer bespoke bags. Keeping our administration costs down is one of the main ways that we keep our bag prices low.
What is this two-tier pricing system about?
The food we eat affects our life chances – from our children’s ability to concentrate in school, to our susceptibility to diet-related illnesses. In turn the food we eat is affected by our life chances, particularly because access to unprocessed fresh, nutritious produce is difficult for many. Quite simply, here in one of the richest economies in the world, we have a growing number of people who can’t afford to put good food on their plates.
Our pricing system aims to create a radical new model through which we can break out this cycle. The Good Food Box model is designed to keep the costs down for everyone (through limiting choice, simplifying our systems, having community based pick ups, working with community volunteers). Additionally our pricing system is designed so that those who are more economically comfortable pay a bit more so that those who normally wouldn’t be able to join a veg box scheme, can. If the pandemic has shown us one thing, it’s that the health of communities can’t be pulled apart from the health of individuals. If we want to live in healthy community with one another we must design systems which can be accessed by all.
Tiered or sliding scale price structures are much more the norm in the USA, and we are grateful to a number of pioneering farms over there for developing models we can build upon here in the UK (Soul Fire Farm, Rock Steady Farm, Zenger Farm).
Which price should I pay?
Consider paying the Solidarity price if most of the following apply to you:
+ I am able to meet all of my basic needs*.
+ I may have some debt but it doesn’t prohibit attainment of basic needs.
+ I am employed or don’t work through choice.
+ I have access to financial savings or stand to inherit wealth.
+ I have some expendable income**.
+ I have a relatively high degree of earning power due to my education level (or other privileges you may have associated with white normativity, gender, citizenship status, class background, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, and other areas of discrimination and all their intersections).
Consider paying the Good Food Start price if a number of the following statements ring true for you:
+ I frequently stress about meeting basic needs* and don’t always achieve them.
+ I have debt and it sometimes prohibits me from meeting my basic needs.
+ I rent lower-end properties or have unstable housing.
+ I am unemployed or underemployed.
+ I qualify for government assistance, e.g. benefits, local welfare schemes.
+ I access voluntary assistance.
+ I have no access to savings.
+ I have no or very limited expendable income*.
+ I have no recourse to public funds
+ I am impacted by state violence (e.g. refugees, asylum seekers and those impacted by the criminal (in)justice system)
*BASIC NEEDS include food, housing, clothing and transportation.
**EXPENDABLE INCOME might mean you are able to buy coffee or tea at a shop, go to the cinema or a concert, buy new clothes, books and similar items each month.
You won’t be asked for any proof / ID, we just ask that you are honest.
What are Healthy Start vouchers and how do I get them?
Customers on the Good Food Start prices can use healthy start vouchers to pay for their Good Food Box. Prices have been calculated so that a small bag is worth 1 voucher, a standard bag is worth 2 vouchers, and a family bag is worth 3 vouchers. [Please note that you do not have to use healthy start vouchers to pay the Good Food Start prices]
You qualify for Healthy Start Vouchers if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get:
+ Income Support
+ Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
+ Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
+ Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
+ Pension Credit; or
+ Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family. (To find this refer to your Universal Credit award notice in the section “your take home pay for this month”.)
+ You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits
To find out how to apply visit the Healthy Start website.
Can I cancel my bag when I go on holiday?
We encourage you to let a friend or neighbour come and collect your bag on your behalf if you take holiday. This reduces admin time for us, which, as a small not-for-profit organisation, is very helpful. If you don’t want to do this and would rather instead cancel the bag when you are on holiday, we can issue those of you paying by direct debit a refund for the time you have taken holiday. Because we plan the veg bags and order the veg a week in advance, you will need to tell us 8 days in advance if you want to cancel your veg bag for a holiday. Please contact us.
Can I change the size of bag or which food from your culture bag I get?
It is fairly simple for us to change the size and type of bag you receive. We would just ask that, if you’re paying monthly, you complete the month you have already paid for. We will then switch you on to the new payment plan when that month has finished. As with taking holiday, we need all requests for change to be 8 days in advance of the day you receive your veg bag on. Please contact us.
How do I cancel my bag if I want to leave?
If you want to cancel your veg bag, please get in touch via our contact form to let us know. We need 8 days notice so that we do not order you veg which you will not pick up.
What should I do if there’s a problem with my bag?
If you think an item is missing from your bag, please check it hasn’t been replaced by another one. In rare incidences, we’ll be forced to substitute one item of veg for another. If it’s an omission on our part, or if your produce has been damaged or spoiled, please contact us and let us know and we’ll make sure you get an extra item the following week.
Do I have to get a bag every week?
We are starting simply and for now only offering a weekly bag. If you are keen to only get a bag fortnightly we suggest finding a neighbour or friend who might want to share.
Can I get my bag delivered to my house?
We deliver our bags to central pick-up points for collection. As well as saving on the carbon emissions, this reduces the cost of operating a delivery vehicle, which also reduces the cost of our bags. We also believe that food is about people and connections between people. Having pick-up points can allow you to meet us, other people who get a Good Food Box, or our pick-up hosts, strengthening our local community.
We also offer delivery to those who live within 1mile of The Granville and who are physically unable to collect their bags.
Do you keep my personal information secure?
The information that you submit by joining the Good Food Box is stored on our secure databases. By becoming a member of the scheme, you are agreeing to this storage and use. We will always take all reasonable precautions to make sure that your data remains secure. The transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure and therefore we cannot guarantee the security of data sent to us electronically. If you send us information via the Internet, you do so at your own risk.
What is this strange vegetable and how do I cook it?
One of the great things about a veg bag is the many vegetables you get to meet and eat. Don’t worry if you’re not used to cooking veg, or if you sometimes encounter something you’ve never seen before – experimenting and learning to love new veg is all part of the fun.
Every week, your veg bag will come with a weekly newsletter. This will contain info about the contents of your bag, like who has grown your veg, as well as cooking and recipe suggestions. We hope this will give you ideas of new things to try with your veg. This is a community project and we’re always really excited to get recipe ideas from our members.
The Internet has lots of information on how to prepare and cook different veg.