The CSA and Healthcare CoP (Community of Practice) brings together professionals and practitioners to better connect the food system and the health care system.
CSAs have a unique role to play in the intersection of local food and health in Vermont. This model is one of the most mature farm + health care practice connections in our state, this style of program is familiar to both local food organizations and health care professionals. Plus, we have a good mix of well-established CSA and health care programs and newer programs getting started. There seem to be many opportunities for peer-connection. These programs also have many points in common with evidence-based health programs used outside of Vermont, creating a context for learning from national and regional groups. With our collective experience in CSA-Health Care connections, we can pinpoint specific gaps and areas for development to explore. This development can be helped with input from people who have particular expertise (clinical, reimbursement, logistics, etc.), who may not have capacity to meet with multiple individual programs but could lend perspective in a group setting.
We believe that a peer-based Community of Practice is a useful way to approach the big topic of food and health, which can be overwhelming without additional focus.
Background on the project:
The Vermont Farm to Plate network had a Health Cross-Cutting team that formed in 2016 with the goal to better connect the food system, public health, and health care systems by:
Promoting health care settings as a viable venue for local food
Supporting local food system programs that improve health outcomes (produce prescription programs, workplace wellness CSAs, etc.)
Better understanding the role local food systems play in improving the health of Vermonters
As part of the Farm to Plate 2.0 (2020-2030) restructuring, health as a topic within the network is developing in other directions. This community of practice formed to create space for focused conversations for those of us implementing a specific model of programming.
We hope to use this Community of Practice to continue to grow CSA & Health Care connections in Vermont and increase the impact of these programs. The background on this project is below. Our COP currently holds virtual meetings first and third Mondays from 3-4pm. If these topics and programmatic model focus are something you would like to learn more about or discuss with a community of peers implementing similar projects, please contact us directly to signup for our bi-monthly meetings!
If you are generally interested in Food as Medicine, you can also subscribe to the Food Access and Health Care monthly Newsletter offering a broader range of events, topics and updates.