Families pick up a bag of local healthy produce each week for 12 weeks at the NVRH Community Connections building in St. Johnsbury. From left: Jess and Kyle from Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Debbie and Gina from Community Connections.
Vermont Business Magazine Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St Johnsbury is once again partnering with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp to offer Health Care Shares. Health Care Shares is a farm-to-hospital public health program that connects Vermonters with fresh healthy local food.
Participants receive a large bag of locally grown produce each week for twelve weeks. The participants in the program were referred by their healthcare provider, by the NVRH Community Connections staff, or recruited by hospital staff. Thirty families are participating this year, up from twenty last year.
According to Vermont Department of Health data, only 23% of teens and 18% of adults in Caledonia County get the recommended number of fruits and vegetables each day.
“The connection between good nutrition and overall good health is clear”, said Laural Ruggles, NVRH VP of Marketing and Community Health Improvement. “Getting enough healthy food to eat is important to a person’s physical health, and emotional and mental well-being”
The food comes from farms in Vermont run by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Each week during the growing season, the Farm Corps Members grow and pack vegetables and herbs for about 400 families in the Health Care Share program in Vermont.
The Health Care Shares program at NVRH is free to participants, funded solely by NVRH as part of the Community Benefits allocation.
Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital is located in St. Johnsbury in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We are a community, not-for-profit, acute care, critical access hospital. NVRH is one of two Vermont hospitals designated as a Baby FriendlyTM hospital by the United Nations. The organization provides primary and preventive care, surgical and specialty services, inpatient and outpatient care and 24-hour, physician-staffed emergency services. NVRH serves more than 30,000 people in the Caledonia and Southern Essex Counties in Vermont and employs 600.
Source: ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (July 10, 2020) – Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital