It’s hard to believe but our harvest season is beginning to wind down. It’s a bittersweet time of year for us, and an excellent time for reflection on our partnerships. This month, we wanted to highlight one partnership in particular, the Family Health Center of Worcester. Our partnership with the Family Health Center is part of our Farm to Health Initiative, that works to pair nutrition education with our donated produce. This program is generously funded by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Healthy Food Fund, and it’s enabled us to reach hundreds of individuals experiencing food insecurity.
This year, we once again had a very successful season of providing fresh produce to the Family Health Center. In past years, we have sent boxes of bulk produce to set up a farmers market- style distribution at the Family Health Center, but this year and last, we decided to make up family-sized shares that were pre- bagged and ready to go. These went out to various patient support groups so that physicians could educate about nutrition and healthy eating as it relates to medical treatment, and track the benefits of receiving fresh produce. The shares always included 4-6 varieties of produce including cherry tomatoes, collard greens, eggplant, peppers, squashes, and cucumbers.
We were able to engage many community members in making this program possible this year as well. Our interns prepared many of the bags, our Education Coordinator provided tastings, and our Team Leaders made the deliveries each week. It was truly a group effort, and we’re already looking forward to next year!