Healthy Produce, Healthy Communities
The Healthy Harvest Fruit and Veggie box program is not only helping people to live healthier lifestyles, but helping to create healthier communities.
The program has been giving three communities where transport and access to healthy and affordable food is limited – Corinella and District, Bass and Grantville – access to fresh produce on a weekly basis.
What the program is also doing is connecting communities and bringing them together to distribute fresh fruit and vegetables.
Julie Coleman, who helps coordinate the program from the Bass Valley Community Centre, said there have been instances of people sharing the responsibility of pick-up to ease the load, making access even easier.
“I have quite a big group of people that come and take it in turns to order and pick up their produce. One lady brings the orders and bags, about 10 of them, for everyone and the next week, someone else will come and pick them up,” Ms Coleman said.
“The program is great, because it’s brought people into our centre that wouldn’t normally come and we’ve been able to give them information on the other programs we offer.”
There have also been instances of people sharing produce with their elderly parents or neighbours with limited transport, and families eating more fresh produce simply because the quality is so high, as it is sourced direct from the market.
Sally Wheelan from the Corinella Community Centre said the community are not the only ones embracing and loving the program.
“Our volunteers are really enjoying coming together and packing the bags, and our supplier really appreciates the opportunity to source the freshest produce locally whenever possible,” Ms Wheelan said.
“It’s making access to fresh fruit and veggies much easier, which is encouraging cooking and eating in a healthier way.”
The Healthy Harvest Fruit and Veggie boxes have been made possible through funding from State Government, facilitated by Bass Coast Shire Council together with Corinella and District Community Centre, Bass Valley Community Centre and French View Caravan Park. The aim of the project is to decrease access barriers and increase knowledge around the health benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, especially seasonal produce in these communities.
To keep the price of the box down and the volume up, the boxes are the same for everyone. Sometimes depending on what is in season there will be a little more or a little less, but you will always get great quality and freshness.
Boxes can be ordered weekly, or if you are just one person less often as required. As part of the program, community members can buy a $15 fruit and veggie box for only $10, and bonus freebies and recipes on how to prepare your produce is usually included.
The discounted program will run until the end of November. To get involved, and order yours now contact one of the participating venues:
- Bass Valley Community Centre - 5678 2277
- Corinella Community Centre - 5678 0777
- French View Caravan Park - 5678 8232