August 3, 2011

Program brings farm-fresh produce to work

by Staff, Douglas County Health Department

Answering the question, “What’s for dinner tonight” has gotten a little easier for employees of four Omaha companies. On Wednesdays this summer, they only have to venture out to the parking lot to pick up some groceries. Best of all, their ingredients have been plucked fresh from a local garden.

It’s thanks to the new Farm-to-Work program developed by Partners for a Healthy Community and supported by Partners businesses First National Bank of Omaha, Home Instead Senior Care, Lutz & Company and C&A Industries. This employee wellness program, launched in 2011, brings fresh, healthy food directly to employees.

All four partners indicated they wanted to increase employee access to fresh produce as part of their Partners policy changes, says community trainer Linda Kenedy. Because these companies are neighbors in their west Omaha business park, helping them collaborate on a farmers’ market seemed like a natural fit.

During this summer’s market, held over the lunch hour, longtime area grower Wenninghoff Farm sets up a produce stand in the C&A Industries parking lot. Employees can choose from a variety of just-picked fruits and veggies. A recent market featured tomatoes, zucchini, acorn squash, broccoli, onions, peaches, sweet corn and cabbage.

Employees may buy their produce with cash or present discounted coupons — available for prior purchase — in exchange for whatever Wenninghoff’s has brought that day. At the end of each week, participating businesses receive an invoice from Wenninghoff’s for each redeemed coupon.

The Farm-to-Work program doesn’t require multiple businesses to participate at one location, says Kenedy. Individual businesses are also welcome to host their own market over several weeks or just one day. For more information, dowloand the Partners for a Healthy City Farm-to-Work Procedure Guide or contact Kenedy.

Healthy Eating


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