CSAs at Work
Rogue Valley businesses are encouraging their employees to eat more fresh vegetables by connecting with Community Supported Agriculture programs. Benefits include improved employee health, morale and community connections.
Treestar, a scientific data analysis software company in Ashland, purchases two large CSA memberships from Fry Family Farm and splits them between 15 employees. "As a small business, you really only have so much leeway with the structure and benefits of your health insurance. You really have to take it on yourself to promote a value of employee wellness," said Sophia Weiss, who coordinates the program for Treestar. "As we look at increased health care costs, it's easy to see the correlation between eating healthy and being healthy. "
Other employers, including the three Asante hospitals in Grants Pass, Ashland and Medford and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, are planning with Siskiyou Sustainable Cooperative to allow employees to pick up their boxes at work this summer. "With the Ashland Tuesday farmers market happening during business hours and many OSF employees with crazy work schedules, the CSA concept is a good fit," says OSF Human Resources Specialist Andrea Matteson. "Employees will be able to take their veggies home at midnight."
"Healthy employees are happy employees , and happy employees are good workers, " said Gail Anderson, Asante Health Promotion Coordinator. Asante started the program in 2013 as part of their comprehensive wellness program. They had over 20 employees sign up and expect more this year as the concept catches on. Prizes of veggie boxes are offered during their "Strive for Five" veggie challenge. Weekly recipe ideas helped introduce different veggies like eggplant to employees.
At Treestar, the program has also helped build employee camaraderie through sorting veggies, sharing recipes and cooking tips. "It's a way to get to know each other better," said Weiss. "It's one of the most exciting parts of our week."
To learn more:
Visit our CSA Page or give us a call at 541-897-0612.