Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Farm Share Program Wraps Up Successful Season at Two Community Health Centers
This post was written by Milagros Neyra, Community Health Project Manager.
The Bronx Health REACH/Corbin Hill Farm Share Program wrapped up a successful season with over 500 bags of fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables distributed to Mt. Hope, Morris Heights, and Soundview residents. While the Farm Share site at the Institute for Family Health’s (IFH) Stevenson Family Health Center continued for a second year, IFH’s Walton Family Health Center debuted as a new, second location for the Farm Share program.
The summer Farm Share season ran from July to November 2019. Participants picked up their bags, consisting of five to seven vegetables and one fruit, at the Walton Family Health Center on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, and Stevenson participants picked up their bags on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. From its inception, the Farm Share program was designed to give the neighborhood residents access to affordable, locally grown fresh produce. Recipes were provided so customers would have creative ways to prepare their vegetables at home. Cooking demonstrations, led by community chefs and supported by the Corbin Hill Food Project, were held at the locations allowing customers to taste test recipes using the vegetables.
“Having the Farm Share program at the Walton Family Health Center brought our patients, community members, and staff together for a common goal: to be able to purchase affordable, fresh produce, that is otherwise difficult to access in this community,” said Marlin Morel, Farm Share site coordinator for the Walton Family Health Center. “As a Health Coach, my goal is to teach our patients that food is the best medicine, and eating a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods is instrumental in their journey to better health.”
To participate in the program, patients, staff, and community members can sign up onsite or online at any time. By placing an order at least one week in advance of the pick-up date, participants can enjoy high quality and locally grown produce delivered to their health centers. “I'm so grateful that this program was in our neighborhood. Health statistics for the Bronx are very devastating and we desperately need this type of program, as well as the cooking and education about the right things to eat,” said Veronica Millender, a resident of Castle Hill for 43 years and a Farm Share program participant since 2018. “Having the Farm Share year round would mean more healthy residents and less chronic conditions. The big picture is the Bronx having healthier residents who are eating well and can afford to buy fresh produce for their families.”
Participants purchased the produce using cash, credit, debit, EBT/SNAP and Health Bucks. The affordable prices and flexibility of payment options, makes the Farm Share program accessible for all to purchase foods that may have been previously unattainable. The Winter Farm Share Season is scheduled to begin mid-January at the Stevenson and Walton locations. The Winter Farm Share Season begins January 14th at the Walton Family Health Center and January 21st at the Stevenson Family Health Center. If you would like to participate, you can order online or email Mila Neyra, Community Health Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (212) 633-0800 ext. 1224.