In total, there are 20 distinct groups in the network including the CSA and Healthcare Community of Practice. This report brings together data and information gathered by all of these groups. 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 the state, familiar to both local food organizations and health care professionals.
There are both well-established CSA and health care programs and newer programs in the early stages. Given the broad range in development, there are many opportunities and benefits derived from 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. 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
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. With our collective experience in CSA-Health Care connections, we can pinpoint specific gaps and areas for development to explore including data collection. This document serves as a tool for those looking to establish healthcare and CSA programs, as well as for group members seeking to better understand how individual programs fit into the broader picture of health and expand their work by demonstrating impact on a statewide level.