Sustainable Connections to host April 5 lunch linking businesses with workplace agriculture shares

The nonprofit group Sustainable Connections is hosting a luncheon to connect businesses with workplace Community Supported Agriculture shares from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at the organization’s office, 1701 Ellis St. Suite 221 in Bellingham.

Attendees to the free event can either bring their own lunches or buy lunches from Acme Farms & Kitchen for $10.

Community Supported Agriculture agreements allow customers to purchase memberships or subscriptions to local farms. In return, farms deliver weekly shares of harvests.

In 2010, Sustainable Connections began offering a workplace CSA designation to encourage businesses to sponsor CSA deliveries for their employees. The nonprofit also offers support services for administrators interested in signing up employees for farm shares.

Participating workplaces and farmers who offer workplace CSAs will be in attendance at the April 5 meeting. Participation is open to all businesses.

In 2011, 16 Whatcom County businesses signed up for 295 CSA shares, with five farms delivering weekly shares to work sites between June and October, according to Sustainable Connections. Between $110,000 and $150,000 in farm sales were generated.

“People get excited on the day the shares are delivered,” said Chris Philips, director of community affairs at the CSA participating company PeaceHealth, in a March 12 press release. “It served as a weekly social vehicle where people would see each other and pick up and talk and engage in what’s new in their box of fresh food. People loved the recipes too.”

Last year, 120 PeaceHealth employees participated in the program.

For more information on the luncheon or the CSA program, visit www.sustainableconnections.com, or email Sustainable Connections’ business development manager Mariah Ross at mariah@sconnect.org.

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