Professional News

Community Supported Agriculture Offers Fresh Produce and Support for Local Farmers

Vegetables.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2020) — Employees on a University of Kentucky health insurance plan* are eligible to receive Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vouchers for the sixth consecutive year. Beginning Jan. 21, vouchers will be available to claim. They can be used to receive significant discounts toward purchasing produce shares at local certified organic farms. These farms are part of the Kentucky Farm Share Coalition

By offering CSA shares (which often require some or all payment upfront), farmers can plan and purchase what they need for the upcoming growing season, and members benefit from their savings. CSA shares vary by farm in terms of size, price, produce diversity, customization, length of season, pickup locations and additional farm products and experiences. 

One of many benefits enjoyed by UK employees, these vouchers toward the cost of a CSA share (full price ranges from $460 to $880) are offered by UK HR Health and Wellness.

The two voucher options are:

  • $100 off a small/mini produce share; and 
  • $200 off a regular/large produce share.

The five participating farms offer a limited number of shares to people in the local area. By purchasing a share, you become a CSA member of that farm. Your membership typically includes: 

  • A box of local and organic vegetables (and occasionally fruits and other farm products) delivered weekly to a convenient pickup location for 20-22 weeks (growing season).
  • Opportunities to get to know your local farmers and learn more about where your food comes from.
  • Tips and recipes for learning ways to use and store the produce in your weekly shares.
  • Higher quality and greater variety in your diet.

“One of the things I find most valuable about the voucher is that it helps to remove barriers: barriers of cost, barriers of knowledge and barriers to access,” said Vanessa Oliver, a UK HR Health and Wellness dietitian. “I'm very proud to be part of this collaboration and how it has continued to evolve to meet the needs of our population.”

Win a free CSA share at the virtual fair on Feb. 3.

There will be a virtual UK CSA fair on Feb. 3 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. where you can learn more about UK's CSA voucher program and meet the participating farmers. In addition, by attending the fair, you can enter to win one of four free CSA shares. Register here.

You must be an employee on a UK health insurance plan to be eligible for a voucher and/or to win a share. You cannot use a voucher if you have already purchased a share, so wait until Jan. 21 if you would like to take advantage of this UK benefit.

For additional information, visit the CSA and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

*Vouchers from UK Health and Wellness are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.