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Every morning when I walk into the office, I go to the kitchen. There’s a Starbucks machine with coffee, hot water for tea and hot chocolate choices. Employees can grab some instant oatmeal or soup if they so choose. There are also a couple of vending machines full of somewhat healthy (labeled with a little green sticker) and not-at-all healthy snacks. On Wednesdays, more snacks are offered, usually nuts, crackers and candy. Sometimes bagels, donuts and other goodies are brought in. I’ve seen numerous people go in and out of the kitchen, bringing a variety of things back to their desks. But what would happen if the available snacks consisted of fresh fruit and vegetables?
Recently, that’s what’s been happening with some companies. For instance, tech companies have hired professional chefs to prepare healthy snacks and lunches, NPR reports. For companies based in Texas, a program called Farm to Work “is making it easy and affordable for employees to pick up baskets of local produce at the office.”
The program started with just one farm connected to one company, but now there are 10 farmers and 49 worksites, according to NPR. Up to 2,000 employees participate at each site, and there’s a waiting list in Austin.
Farm to Work aims to get Americans to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit. The point of the program, according to its founder Andrew Smiley, is “to make healthy the easy choice.” NPR reports that from Farm to Work’s inception in 2007 to 2012, roughly 37,500 baskets of fresh produce were purchased through its program. Participation has gone up since then.
To join, participants sign up to receive the produce during a week of their choice. Price of boxes has varied based on weight.
Would this program work at your office? Could fresh produce replace junk food?