Salvation Farms and Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley have partnered to provide a weekly supply of fresh produce to eligible patients this fall.
The program, called Bounty Share, is an element of Salvation Farms’ Lamoille Valley Gleaning program. Fruits and vegetables are gleaned by Salvation Farms staff and volunteers at farms in the Lamoille Valley, capturing surplus, edible produce that would otherwise be left in the field or harvested but without a market.
Community Health Services identifies and enrolls eligible patients, based on food insecurity and chronic disease.
Four institutions are participating this fall: Morrisville Family Health Care, Stowe Family Practice, The Women’s Center at Copley Hospital, and the Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.
Twelve patients and their families are enrolled in the six-week program that runs to Thanksgiving.
Patients pick up a box of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables from the doctor’s office each week. This pilot project pilot will feature fall apples, winter squash, cooking greens, potatoes, carrots and beets.
Recipes and crop information accompany the produce, and the patients get in-person support from Community Health team members and UVM Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program staff.
Taste tests, cooking classes, wellness workshops and opportunities to join in gleaning vegetables from local farms are all part of plans to expand the Bounty Share program and community impact.
The partnership is a significant step toward strengthening the connection between farms, fresh produce and health care in the Lamoille Valley.