Youth Farm Stand returning to RiverBend in Springfield May 31

Fresh, organic fruits and veggies available at RiverBend every Thursday through October

May 30, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – For the eighth year running, the FOOD for Lane County Youth Farm will bring fresh, organic produce to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend’s doorstep, beginning next Thursday, May 31.

The Youth Farm Stand will be open every Thursday through October from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., in the Fir Grove near the Emergency Department entrance at the south end of campus.

The popular farm stand last year sold 7,180 pounds of veggies and fruits to campus caregivers, patients, visitors and community members. The stand raised $20,542 for the innovative Youth Farm, which combines hunger relief with youth services and education. The stand also gave away $1,104 worth of free produce (the equivalent to 430 total pounds) to low-income community members through FOOD for Lane County’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) coupon-matching program.

The five-acre Youth Farm, located in the Gateway neighborhood at 750 Flamingo Dr., provides a crew of teens with job skills and training in gardening, leadership, financial management and nutrition. The farm grows more than 100,000 pounds of three-dozen varieties of organic produce for FOOD for Lane County assistance programs, a Community Supported Agriculture program and two farm stands—one at RiverBend, the other at the farm site.

The stand accepts cash, checks, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) coupons, Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, Farm Direct Nutrition coupons and debit or credit cards. This year PeaceHealth is contributing $5,000 in Community Health funds to the Double Up Food Bucks program, which helps SNAP participants purchase more produce at the Youth Farm stands and other participating farmers’ markets. SNAP shoppers can receive up to $10 in matching “food bucks” per market per day.

Over the last two seasons, SNAP participants have cashed in $113,340 in food bucks at participating markets; 90 percent of SNAP customers surveyed reported that the amount of produce they buy has increased, and 88 percent said their overall health has improved because of Double Up.

“Promoting community health is crucial to the PeaceHealth Mission, and we know that food security is a key determinant of health,” said Cecelia Jacobson, registered dietitian with Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute at RiverBend. “The Youth Farm Stand has been an outstanding partnership, and we’re pleased to be able to support it further with our investment in the Double Up Food Bucks program.”

Jacobson said she frequently refers patients to the farm stand. “We’ve heard so much positive feedback from our patients and caregivers,” she said. “They love being able to just walk outside to buy fresh, beautiful produce they can take home and eat. We all look forward to opening day.”

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart is part of a growing movement around the country to bring farm-fresh, locally grown fare to hospitals as a way to further goals to promote community health and wellness.

Early in the season, expect to find salad mix, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, Swiss chard, kale, bok choy, basil, kohlrabi, strawberries and much more.

Media opportunity: Reporters are invited to visit the farm stand on opening day, May 31, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to speak with Cecelia Jacobson and members of the Youth Farm team. Customers will enjoy free samples and raffle drawings.

 

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About PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a medical group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at peacehealth.org.

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