Box gala replaces Harvest Gala in COVID year

Farm & Food Care Ontario online gala box purchase deadline is Oct. 23

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Farm & Food Care’s Harvest Gala is a gathering place for the agriculture sector, a celebration of the year.

COVID-19 has cancelled that event, as it has most others, but the organization has created an alternative that aims to give people some social experience, the chance to help support the organization and some of the treats that are usually found at the Harvest Gala.

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Participants order a Harvest Gala in a Box from Farm & Food Care for $75 or $100 depending on the package.

Farm & Food Care Executive Director Kelly Daynard says cancelling the event was discussed but her staff was convinced that an alternative event was possible.

As of early this week the organization had 100 of its 150 boxes sold. Boxes have to be purchased by Friday, Oct. 23, so they can be shipped out in time for the Nov. 14 event.

Inside the box will be a list of ingredients to buy to participate in a group cooking session led by a chef, “lots of yummy all-Ontario snacks from a bunch of our partners, and some surprises as well.”

There will also be the presentation of the Farm & Food Care Champion award and the Feed Ontario presentation of the Paul Mistele Memorial Award.

The aim is also to create some of the networking and social aspects of the usual Harvest Gala.

“You see a cucumber grower talking with the dairy farmer chatting with the egg processor,” at a Harvest Gala in a normal year, says Daynard.

“It’s going to be as social as possible as can be this year,” she says. Dairy farmer Andrew Campbell will be hosting the event.

“In a year when we can’t bring people together, it’s still a way of raising funds for our work and keeping the event alive.”

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