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SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER

FARM TO WORK BY EVAN DRISCOLL

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fter working on farms for six years, I’ve made the

plunge back into the office. One of the perks of working on a farm was the physical health it afforded me. Because I was in constant motion and had access to all the fruits, vegetables and proteins I could eat, I never worried about diet-related health problems. Now, even though I work at a desk, I’m realizing just how important highly accessible, locally sourced fruits and vegetables are in the workplace. Sustainable Food Center’s (SFC) Farm to Work program aims to make locally sourced food available to more people at work by creating relationships between farms and businesses. Participating farmers make weekly deliveries of fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables directly to employees in the office—allowing them to benefit from healthy, locally grown foods. And the farmers benefit by having access to new customers and developing a direct relationship with them. Claire Moore is a Farm to Work coordinator at The University of Texas, where she promotes, supports and implements SFC’s program for more than 1,500 participating staff and administrators. When asked what attracted her to the program, Moore says they’d wanted to increase access to local, high-quality produce for faculty and staff at UT for some time. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to get their daily servings of fruits and vegetables,” she says. “Farm to Work not only makes it easy for employees to buy and use produce, but it also makes it easy for employers to offer the program. As an employer, we get to do all of the fun parts: Marketing the programming and helping the farmer and participants each week at the delivery sites.”

Garden Find Your

Purchasing food through Farm to Work, rather than the grocery store, has allowed Moore to learn about food directly from the people who grow it. “I also get a chance to learn from coworkers…how they cook and prepare the food. I’ve received many great recipes.” And Moore thinks the program has increased her consumption of fruits and vegetables—even those unfamiliar to her. “I’d never tried a persimmon or fresh date before the program,” she says. “Now I cannot get enough persimmons!” Moore believes the program has strengthened the UT community as well as the connection between the employees and the food they eat. “[The deliveries] bring people together each week,” she says. “It’s a chance for us to show that we care about our staff and want the best for them.”

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For more information about the Farm to Work program, or other SFC programs, visit sustainablefoodcenter.org EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

WELLNESS 2015

63

Edible Austin Wellness Issue 2015  

A toast to a happy and healthy new year.

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