March 13, 2015
Employees who participate in NEWu, the Ursinus College wellness campaign, will now receive a wellness point for being a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) member at a local farm. CSA is a model of farm in which there is an economic transaction between the farmer and the members, who purchase a “share” of a farm’s harvest up front (at the beginning of the season). Depending on the farm, each week throughout the growing season members then receive fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasionally eggs, dairy, or meat from their membership farm. This system offers consumers a more intimate experience with their food, and offers farmers upfront financial support as opposed to taking out expensive loans to purchase seasonal supplies. CSAs are a great way to support local food economies and protect diverse ecological systems that help keep our soil healthy, air cleaner, and waterways more pure
This year NEWu will incentive CSA membership for participating employees. NEWu promotes healthy lifestyles by providing participants with financial compensation in their Health Savings Account for various activities related to health and wellness. NEWu sponsored events have included bike rides, yoga classes, nutrition classes, and a lot more. Employees enrolled in the College’s health plan who participate in the wellness program earn points by participating in these activities in addition to receiving annual health screenings from their healthcare provider. This year, the continued partnership between the Office of Sustainability and NEWu, employees will earn a wellness point if they are a CSA member at a local farm. This program offers a great financial incentive to employees to eat healthier and support their local economy in the process. A list of local CSAs can be found here, or at www.localharvest.com.
For employees who are not interested in becoming CSA members, another opportunity to earn wellness points will be shopping at the Ursinus Organic Farm campus farm stand five times throughout the growing season. The farm stand will be open every Wednesday on Olin plaza beginning May 27th and feature a wide variety of produce, including a variety of lettuces, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, and more. A frequency card will be initialed to help employees track their participation.
Eating can be healthy for people and planet, we promote both here at Ursinus.