Editor’s Note: We often talk to young people and adults about the importance of role-modeling the healthy behaviors you are trying to create. FFI core partner organizations take that responsibility seriously. Luther College offers a worksite CSA reimbursement program to its employees to encourage more vegetable consumption and foster a connection to local food.
For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Consumers pay an up-front cost, and in exchange receive weekly or biweekly boxes of produce for the entire summer. Some CSAs offer market shares where customers can pay up front and draw down an account at the local farmer’s market. CSAs come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate the diverse needs of customers.
Recognizing the importance of vegetable consumption as part of a healthy diet, Wellness, Sustainability and the Health Care Council are offering up to 150 Luther College faculty and staff households a 50% reimbursement (up to $100) on vegetable CSA shares. For the garden-enthusiast (or wannabe garden enthusiast) they are also offering the opportunity to subscribe for a garden membership, through which participants will receive a combination of plants and garden help.
Participants are also required to participate in at least two food education experiences that will take place throughout the summer. Luther College will also be coordinating potlucks for staff and their families.
Last year, 97 households representing 117 employees participated in the program. The goal for 2014 is 150 households.
CSAs and farms participating in the program include Patchwork Green Farm, Sweet Earth Farm, Annie’s Gardens and Greens, River Root Farm, Canoe Creek Produce and Driftless Gardens.
For more information about Luther’s Employee CSA Program, contact Maren Stumme-Diers.