Our Eat Well Kingston blog recently reported that the YMCA Farm Project was one of the many places in Kingston this summer where the public could buy fresh produce grown right here in an urban garden.

We’re happy to share today that HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, one of the Farm Project sponsors, now lets hospital employees purchase the local, sustainably grown vegetables through a payroll deduction.

The Farm Project operated a Mobile Farm Stand in three Kingston locations from 3 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday until September 22, the last day of the mobile market for 2015. This is in addition to running a stand at the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County, 507 Broadway, from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday.

Both farm stands offer fresh, high quality, affordable, chemical-free vegetables at affordable prices. And both farm stands accept many forms of payment, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).

The garden provides the opportunity for young people to learn about growing food; they plant, water, seed, and harvest fruits and vegetables.

Stop No. 1 for the pedal-powered farm-stand-on-wheels was the HealthAlliance Hospital. The Mobile Farm Stand alternated weekly between the Broadway Campus and the Mary’s Avenue Campus. Farmer KayCee Wimbish, who oversees the urban garden and pedals the Mobile Farm Stand to the selling sites, stayed at HealthAlliance from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

She then went to Yosman Tower, 295 Broadway, from 4 to 5 p.m., and to the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin St., from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

Hosting the Mobile Farm Stand at HealthAlliance Hospital benefits both the community at large and the community of hospital employees by bringing fresh vegetables right to the door for the busy staff, one step closer to the stove or salad bowl at home.

The arrangement between the Farm Project and HealthAlliance came at a fortunate time, just as HealthAlliance was sharpening its focus on employee health.

Oftentimes, when employees buzz by the Mobile Farm Stand, they are en route from one task to another and are not carrying money. To make it easy for them to buy these nutrient-rich foods, the HealthAlliance Healthy Foods Committee devised a system in which badge-carrying employees can simply sign for the produce and have the purchase amount deducted from their paycheck. A win-win for everyone!

Kudos to HealthAlliance for making it easy for employees to purchase healthy food and for making the environment healthier in the Kingston community!

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