The City’s Wellness Committee has worked with the Sustainable Food Center to set up a Farm to Work program that gives City employees the opportunity to purchase a box of fresh produce each week for $20. The produce is straight from the farm and 100 percent organic. The selection of fruits and vegetables changes each week and employees order as often as they wish – no long term commitment is necessary.
“The Farm to Work program was suggested by Ryan Beardmore of the Wellness Committee,” says Saridon Chambless, executive assistant and leader of the committee. “The Committee really jumped on the idea and Human Resources was very supportive. It’s been great because the Sustainable Food Center set everything up for us.”
The Sustainable Food Center is a State agency that cultivates a healthy community by strengthening local food systems and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. They’ve been doing programs to connect local growers with schools and employers this since 1993.
“It’s a great program,” says Saridon. “It provides employees with a convenient way to have healthy, fresh produce. Since the orders are dependent on what is currently being harvested, it really makes you branch out of your comfort zone, too.”
The Sustainable Food Center website is also a great resource. It provides cooking tips and recipes for the produce available that week.
“The website lists what produce will be included in that week’s order,” says Saridon. “Even if you don’t like what’s currently offered, keep checking the site because the selection will change. More fruit will be available as the summer growing season begins.” great resource. It provides cooking tips and recipes for the produce available that week.
Sustainable Food Center prefers to have at least 10 orders a week to continue the program. So far, they’ve received more than 20 each week from City employees.
“We want to keep the momentum going,” says Saridon. “We want employees to have a healthy alternative for nutrition.”