Farm-to-Work: Fresh Veggies Come Direct to Offices
Pioneering employers are now offering fresh vegetables to help employees improve their diet—and their health. Tech companies are even hiring professional chefs to prepare healthful lunches and snacks. In Texas, the Farm to Work program is making it easy and affordable for workers to pick up baskets of local produce at the office.
Participants aren’t required to pay an initial lump sum or commit to buying every week. Instead, they can sign up to receive produce in any given week. Other groups around the country are also looking into workplace produce delivery programs, and while many use the traditional community supported agriculture (CSA) model, others are experimenting with different procedures.
The Farm Fresh Program, in Bellingham, Washington, connects local farmers to employers interested in receiving weekly deliveries. Meanwhile, Farm2Work, in Arkansas, links local purveyors of produce, meat, eggs, dairy, pies, jams and jellies to area employers. New York’s Adirondack Harvest, a branch of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, started by helping a single farmer link to area employers. The next step, says Teresa Whalen, the group’s southern chapter representative, is working to persuade insurance companies to subsidize workplace CSAs in the same way they’re starting to subsidize gym memberships.