Palomar Health wants to make fresh, organic produce more accessible to staff members and affiliated physicians. But it needs your help.
At least 35 subscribers are needed at Palomar Medical Center, and the same number at Pomerado Hospital to begin a fresh-produce delivery service at the two sites.
Palomar Health is partnering with Garden of Eden Organics to begin a service that will encourage healthy eating.
Garden of Eden is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a co-op of 24 local small farms that serve communities throughout Southern California. Participants pick up weekly deliveries of seasonal, fresh, certified-organic and chemical-and pesticide-free produce at one of several participating sites.
Each box includes up to seven different vegetables and four different fruits. Every Monday, Garden of Eden’s Facebook page and email lists offerings for that week, including recipes.
“We actually set up like a small farmers market,” said the Garden of Eden’s Jennifer Trejo says. “We distribute the box. We walk each customer through the box, so they know what they’re getting. We give them some verbal recipes. We send out recipes every week that coincide with the box.”
Since the produce is locally grown at 24 farms in the program, it gets to the consumer in just hours — not days — after it has been harvested.
“You don’t need to do a lot with it because there is so much flavor,” Trejo says.
Three sizes of boxes — individual, small family (2-3 persons) or large family (4-5 persons) — are available, with prices ranging from $112 to $168 per month. Additional savings await those who sign up for quarterly or annual payments. A four-week trial period is available. Those who sign up before May 15 receive an extra week for free.
“One of the best preventative measures we have to help our community and our staff is to promote more healthful eating,” Barbara Hamilton, Palomar Health System Sustainability Manager, says.
“Fresh food accessibility is an issue across the United States. Even in San Diego County there are areas where it is difficult for people to have access to fresh foods. So, if we can help to promote that within our own community, with our own patients, visitors and staff, then that’s the best benefit we can have,” Hamilton says.
Organizers hope to get enough subscribers to begin the service on May 15. The tentative pick up schedule at both sites is: Tuesday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Palomar Medical Center, and Tuesday, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pomerado Hospital.
.To enroll in the program: Visit: http://www.goeorganics.com and click on Pledge Form or call Jennifer Trejo at 760.994.5861 and reference Palomar Health.
For more information about Palomar Health’s sustainability programs, contact: Barbara Hamilton at 858.613.4899.