By Kristina Michel
The University of Houston announces the soft launch of Farm to Work, a new wellness program that will make it easy and affordable for UH employees to pick up baskets of fresh, local fruits, herbs and vegetables on campus.
Farm to Work comes to UH thanks to a partnership between Human Resources’ POWER UP Employee Wellness initiative, the UH Office of Sustainability, the Sustainable Food Center of Austin and Plant It Forward farms.
The program will hold its first on-site pickup from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the UH Welcome Center outdoor area across from the UH Hilton parking garage. UH faculty and staff can order their baskets of produce from now until noon Wednesday, April 19, using the Farm to Work website. All orders must be made online via credit card. No on-site sales of baskets or individual produce will be allowed the day of pickup.
Though employees are encouraged to walk to the site to retrieve their produce, parking is available inside the Welcome Center parking garage and is free for the first 30 minutes. Employees must present their order receipts, ID or email confirmation to retrieve their produce, and a bag to carry their items. Since the produce is perishable, employees who fail to pick up their orders April 21 will not be able to pick it up on another day or time frame. Refunds will not be issued for failed order retrievals. They will be considered a donation to Plant It Forward farms.
After April 21, employees will be able to order different baskets of produce to pick up from 3 to 4 p.m. every Friday. The pickup site will remain at the Welcome Center, rain or shine. The types and amount of produce will vary week by week and can be viewed weekly on the ordering website. The price will be $25 for seven to nine different produce items.
Employees can check out the UH Farm to Work website to sign up for weekly order reminder emails and look up recipes they can make with the available produce items. As for the April 21 soft launch, employees must order their produce by noon the Wednesday before the day of pickup.
Farm to Work is a partnership between worksites and local farmers supported by the Sustainable Food Center of Austin. The goal of the program is to allow employees easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables to help improve health and wellness, as well as support the local economy. All the produce available through Farm to Work is fresh and locally grown, free of chemical pesticides, by Plant It Forward farms, an urban farming group within the city of Houston.