Bright Spot: Farm to Work
Photo by Damien Creatz on Unsplash
This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Farm to Work increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the work environment by providing a weekly opportunity for purchase and delivery of fresh produce from local farmers.
*The Center for Training and Research Translation worked with Farm to Work developers to review the evidence in support of the intervention and develop detailed guidance on how to implement it in practice*
To promote Individual/family and group-level change by modifying the work environment to increase access, availability, purchases, and use of healthy fruits and vegetables from local farms.
- Increased knowledge of local produce
- Increased fruits and vegetable consumption
- Increased access to local produce
The costs outlined below are specific to this Farm to Work program. Depending on the worksite and program specifics, costs will vary.
Program costs included:
- Website development - $2,600 (plus $1500 for annual maintenance)
- Plastic bags for produce (4 boxes of 200, 13 gallon bags) $120
- Trade box bin (4, 12.5 gallon recycle bins) $82
- Signage $150
- Advertising and incentive items - Posters (220, 11x17) - $235
- Canvas bags with screen printed logo (580) - $4,965
- T-shirts (50), aprons (50), and table skirts (24) with logo - $2,194
- Promotional items such as recipe books (20) - $360
Key Steps for Implementation
- Determine program feasibility* The first step in establishing a Farm to Work program is determining its feasibility
- Determine interest level of employees
- Identify an Internal Farm to Work Coordinator
- Identify an External Farm to Work Coordinator
- Find the farmer or group of farmers to supply produce
- Identify a distribution site
- Get approvals both to implement the program and to address liability issues/concerns
- Establish an external ordering/payment system
- Determine a communication channel
- Raise awareness and market the program
- Launch the program!
Required Staffing (FTEs)
- An Internal Farm to Work Coordinator
- An External Farm to Work Coordinator
- Clipboards, plastic bags, trade box bin at each site, posters, canvas bags, T-shirts, aprons, and table skirts, signage
External coordinator provides training to farmers in customer satisfaction and to worksite coordinator in start-up, promotions, and customer service. External website coordinator provides training to farmers in use of the farmer-administrative section of the website where the farmer can update the basket contents and access the list of orders to fulfill, and also trains the external coordinator in use of administrative section of website to access the list of orders which includes customer order and contact information.
Types of Staff
Internal and external coordinators are needed as well as farmers in the local area who are willing to participate in this program.
- Increased intake of fruit and vegetables
- Support of local agriculture and support of local economy
- Access to local produce
Those considering copying this intervention should consider a trial run: Coordinate a mini-delivery to test the program and delivery system. One suggestion is to only promote the first delivery day among those employees who responded to the survey and to limit the number of orders that can be accepted during the first delivery.