Strengthening the Community through Local Food
Well-U is a unique department of the University of Rochester that aims to improve the health and wellness of University employees. Well-U encourages healthy behaviors by providing accessible options for the University’s employees. Many of the departments’ efforts overlap with the University’s sustainability efforts, such as encouraging active transportation and promoting fresh local food. There are currently two programs offered through Well-U that bring local food to the University of Rochester community.
Local food is not only fresh, it requires less vehicle emissions to be transported from the farm to the consumer compared to food transported from other states and countries. Eating local is also an excellent way to support local farmers and the local economy.
The Farmer’s Market takes place every Wednesday from 3 to 6 pm between March 4th and October 28th. This week it will take place in the Saunders Research Building, but starting July 22 it will move back to its original location in the Flaum Atrium. The market brings in many local vendors that practice sustainable food production. There are many different options available including fruits and vegetables that are currently in season, bread and grains, and even some sweet treats. The market allows the unique opportunity for customers to talk directly with the people growing and making their food. It allows vendors to educate their customers about the growing seasons for various plants in New York, and gives them direct insight on the sources of their food.
Additionally, Well-U offers the Good Food Collective, which is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) based in Rochester. Well-U’s goal is to connect University employees with fresh, local, sustainable food each week through this program. Express box shares are available for pick up Thursdays, June 22-September 24 from 4-6 pm at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Medical Research Building Patio (behind Flaum Atrium). The Good Food Collective’s website provides information on the program’s farmers as well as recipes for basket ingredients.
Overall, these programs promote healthier living while contributing to the local economy as well as sustaining the planet.
Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018