Top Box Foods at the Shiloh Center
Top Box Food Express is now in Zion! Top Box is working in partnership with the Coalition for Healthy Communities, to bring nutritious, affordable food to all of our residents. Top Box (www.topboxfoods.com) is a community-based non-profit that sells delicious, and healthy boxes of food for up to 40% off prices you’d find at the grocery store. Top Box is a community supported, once a month shopping experience that is open to everyone.
All of our Top Box Express Events will be held at the Shiloh Center (2600 Emmaus, Zion, IL) from 1:30pm – 3:00pm.
Top Box Express is open to all and accepts cash, credit/debit cards, and LINK for payment. Three types of food boxes are available – Garden box – which includes fresh fruit and vegetables for $10, meat boxes range from $11 – $24, and are frozen for your convenience. These are high-quality products that are bought in bulk – which allows Top Box to pass those savings along.
“The Coalition for Healthy Communities is delighted to partner with Top Box Foods to bring high-quality, affordable fruits, vegetables and meats to our Zion-Benton community. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of our residents to get access to good nutrition at a great savings.”
– Marilyn Krieger, Executive Director of the Zion Park District, and Community Wellness Task Force Chair.
Top Box was begun in 2012 by Chris Kennedy (who is the son of Robert F. Kennedy) and his wife, Sheila who believe that everyone should have the opportunity to have nutritious food in their diet, regardless of their financial circumstances. When community residents choose to shop at Top Box, it helps to support the opportunity for everyone to access quality, affordable foods while also saving money and eating well too; a win-win for all!
Visit Top Box Foods online at www.topboxfoods.com
Top Box Foods Express
In September 2014 Top Box Foods launched a new food delivery model in Lake County called Top Box Foods Express. The Express model was developed to fill the need in Lake County communities for additional affordable food access that provides everyone the opportunity to keep nutritious foods in their diet regardless of their financial challenges. Nutrition shouldn’t be sacrificed due to a lack of funding.
Express is a community supported, once a month shopping event that is open to everyone.
Top Box Foods Express focuses on providing customers tremendous savings on the healthy but expensive foods, fresh produce and lean meats, which often exit the diet when people are financially challenged.
Many residents in Lake County don’t qualify for government benefits, or other social services but nonetheless experience food insecurity. Often, many people who are struggling to make ends meet
Top Box Foods Express offers everyone the opportunity to access affordable food but particularly beneficial for:
- Food pantry clients: Express is able to stretch the dollars food pantry clients must spend at traditional grocery stores to supplement the groceries received through the food pantry system, especially to include fresh produce, lean meats, and fish.
- Link recipients: Express accepts Link, almost doubling benefit dollars
- Seniors: Help Seniors living on fixed incomes dealing with the high cost of medicine, rising living costs, raising grandchildren or provide financial support for adult children
- Working Poor – Many people are dealing with job loss, reduced wages, one-income, catastrophic medical bills and don’t qualify for any assistance. Often, people who are food insecure are reluctant to access resources, like a food pantry, because they feel they are taking away benefits from those that may need them more.
- The fact that Top Box is open to everyone removes the “stigma” off accessing help, people feel empowered when they can provide for themselves and move from client to customer.
- Everyone! – Everyone who chooses to support Top Box Foods is helping to support sustainable access to affordable healthy foods for all in their community. The more who participate in Top Box Foods Express the better the values for all.
- Top Box Foods Express is not a social service program but an opportunity for all community residents to save money and eat well
- Express has no requirements: no qualification, no sign-up, no pre-order nor any resident restrictions. The once a month shopping event is designed to be a stress-free, friendly experience where customers feel good about purchasing high-quality food at an exceptional value.
The delivery day process is easy, fast and friendly: community residents come to the location of their choosing, view samples of the month’s box offerings, pay and take their purchases home to enjoy the foods. Express accepts cash, credit, debit and Link cards. The acceptance of Link is especially important, as it allows recipients to stretch their benefit dollars further. There is no limit on the number of boxes that can be purchased and the customer can go to any or all locations.
A unique aspect of the Express model is the formation of the Community Leadership Teams (CLT) in each delivery area. These teams are comprised of local leaders, organizations, faith-based groups and residents who work together to assist in the logistics of establishing/maintaining delivery sites and spreading the word about Top Box Foods Express in an ongoing organized strategy. Involving the community gives them a stake in building the Express program and establishing a reliable, sustainable
When all community residents choose to shop at Top Box (particularly those who don’t generally take advantage of this type of opportunity), it helps to support the opportunity for everyone to access quality, affordable foods while also saving money and eating well too; a win-win for all!
Top Box Foods is able to offer customers high-quality fresh fruits, vegetables and frozen meats (beef, turkey, poultry, fish, and pork) at up to 40% savings by utilizing bulk purchasing. Bulk purchasing allows Top Box to source products at a great value and then pass on the savings to customers. Top Box purchases food in bulk from trusted vendors, keeps overhead low by utilizing volunteers and passes on the savings to the customers. The Express goal is to increase the number of customers at each delivery location which will result in filling boxes with more food while keeping the box price static.
Northern Illinois Food Bank has partnered with Top Box on the Express model and provides volunteer support, cold storage, and staff resources.