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ACORN launches second Food is Medicine program

SUSAN SMILEY OF New Haven assesses the bags of produce awaiting distribution through ACORN’s Farmacy: Food is Medicine program.

MIDDLEBURY — ACORN’s Farmacy: Food is Medicine program began its second season of “healthcare CSA shares” on July 9, delivering farm fresh produce to 65 families. The program, a partnership with Porter Medical Center, the Vermont Department of Health, Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Rise VT, Village Health and three area farms, provides patients and families with 12 weeks of fruit and vegetables, increasing the availability of nutrient-dense foods to prevent diet-related illness and food insecurity.
New Leaf Organics of Bristol, Lester Farm and Market of New Haven and Firefly Fields of New Haven are the three participating farms in this year’s program, providing a wide variety of fresh foods, from locally grown strawberries and blueberries to herbs of all kinds and a spectrum of vegetables.
ACORN and the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op will host the first Farmacy Kitchen Hangout on Zoom on Friday, July 31, with budget-conscious local Chef Matt Laux. He will break down the basics of cooking with fresh, local foods straight from the weekly Farmacy share. 
“While the Farmacy program is great at directly addressing food access issues, we’re trying creative new ways to enhance food literacy, especially during COVID-19, when our regular food samples aren’t being provided. This new online experience will be a great way to dive deeper into the conversation of how to eat more fresh food,” says Lindsey Berk, the Farmacy Program Manager and ACORN’s director of marketing and communications.
The enrollment period has closed, but if you or someone you know is interested in joining the wait list or pre-registering for next year’s program, email [email protected]. You or a family member must be a patient of Porter Primary Care Middlebury, Porter Pediatrics, Porter Women’s Health, or Village Health to join the 2020 program.

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