Top Box provides the Evanston community with fresh, boxed, produce that is locally sourced to raise funds for for clubs at ETHS beginning Oct. 4.
“What you eat when you are younger influences what you eat as you grow older,” coordinator Irene Lui says.
Top Box is a non-profit social enterprise focused on providing healthy, fresh local produce at a low price to various organizations such as ETHS. The foundation purchases from local farmers, at market value, but since it buys in bulk, and the participants are volunteers, Top Box is able to keep costs minimal while returning 15 percent of proceeds to ETHS.
A community member can pre-order boxed produce prior to Oct. 27 by visiting www.topboxforschools.com. There’s various produce available for the community, some of which includes the fruit box, organic vegetable box, local farm meat box, local chicken box, local beef box, local pork box and salmon box. The first order will arrive at ETHS door 2 on Nov. 1 from 3:30 to 5 pm.
There are four clubs partaking in these fundraisers: the Dreamer’s Club, Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers Junior Chapter (SHPE Jr.), Book R Us and E Squad Step Team. Each club will send volunteers for a few months to help with sales.
The Dreamer’s Club is putting the proceeds towards the ETHS Dreamer Scholarship, a scholarship for those not eligible due to their immigration status. The Club is organizing this fundraiser in tangent with others, including a film festival after school Oct. 12 in the Little Theater.
Meanwhile, SHPE Jr. is using the money to fund new uniforms for the Chicago Regional Science Fair in addition to the SHPE National Conference. SHPE Jr. is a nationwide club focused on promoting STEM within the Latinx community. The ETHS branch partners with Northwestern, from which it receives mentors.
“The mission of SPHE is to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These are local organic farmers so we are supporting them,” sponsor of SHPE, Michelle Vazquez, explains. “It’s connected; it connects into the mission of STEM as well.”
Top Box began in Chicago, providing local produce to various organizations there. They received grants from Kinship Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust. The fund was designed to bring affordable locally-farmed food to community meeting places, like ETHS.