By 2018 Food Access Fellow, Brianna Eichhorn
In September, I attended a cooking class at the UVA hospital as part of UVA’s BeWell health initiative. BeWell partners with our Fresh Farmacy Program, proving employees with biweekly produce shares. It was amazing to see program participants learning about, and enjoying the produce from their shares.
Around thirty participants attended, and a few of them brought their children. The chef, Angie, prepared two recipes and gave out samples, along with recipe cards. The first was a cantaloupe smoothie made with a ripe cantaloupe and some plain frozen yogurt. It was a delicious new way for people to try the melon, rather that simply slicing it up (which is always good too)! The second recipe was a peach salsa served with crostinis, tortilla chips, and goat cheese. The peach salsa was very sweet but balanced by heat from jalapenos. The recipes were well received – most went back for seconds!
Participants were attentive and involved, providing examples of how they used previous shares. After the session ended, there was the opportunity to ask the chef food preparation tips. Many lined up to ask about specific health-related needs in their families. It was wonderful to see how interested, passionate, and thankful the Fresh Farmacy participants were about the program! Personally, I found it very rewarding to meet the people that I have been packing out shares for all season and see their enthusiasm for the program.