We’re so grateful for the opportunity to spend our days as we do: enjoying the breeze on a warm day, listening to the chatter of birds, carefully tending rows of veggie plants, and working alongside new and old friends in the fields. All of these bright points culminate as the fruits of our hard work begin rolling out the door. At CHP, we work with more than 16 different community partners to ensure that the food we produce is distributed to folks throughout our community that need it. These partners range from food banks and soup kitchens to addiction recovery programs and health centers. Many of the partners whom we serve work toward missions of their own which often address a range of issues to which hunger and food access are undercurrents. These progressive organizations and individuals recognize the power of healthy, fresh food to cure a wide swath of challenges faced by many of our neighbors every day.
Since 2014 Community Harvest Project has been partnering with The Family Health Center of Worcester. As a federally qualified health center serving inner-city Worcester, FHCW provides care to patients who often lack affordable access to fresh, healthy produce which is often recommended by their healthcare providers. Program Director Dr. Melanie Gnazzo notes “When asked, patients responded that ease of access and cost were major obstacles to purchasing produce.”
Each week, CHP volunteers and staff harvest, coordinate, and deliver family-sized shares of mixed farm-fresh produce to FHCW patients participating in group-medical visits focusing on specific health conditions and needs. Building these shares is a great and fulfilling opportunity for our staff and volunteers to consider each recipient family and the variety of produce that will contribute to a full and satisfying offering each week.
Dr. Gnazzo continues, “Our patients look forward to the produce each week. They comment on their favorites as well as the new produce they have tried. We are so grateful to have a community partner like the Community Harvest Project!!!” We, in turn, are grateful to partner with such a valuable community organization like The Family Health Center of Worcester and look forward to many more abundant years to come.
Read the rest of the August Sprout here!