The Hoosier Harvest Market, a mutual-benefit farmer owned co-operative, aims to expand their Hoosier Harvest 365 Hospital Delivery Program (HDP), which was deployed in Hancock County in 2018. The HDP was established by a small group of farmers as a way to expand their product offering into a wholesale market while providing fresh and healthy produce for the community. The HDP partners with local hospitals allowing physicians to “prescribe” vouchers for a bi-weekly bag filled with fresh produce.
The goal of the HDP Expansion is to deploy the program in Decatur County with new producers while partnering with Decatur County Memorial Hospital. The project will expand the educational outreach by providing additional hands-on cooking demonstrations in partnership with Greensburg Community Schools to increase exposure and awareness of local food options for food-challenged students.
This 18 month project will create sustainability for the participating farms by providing them with a new market opportunity along with a pre-planned and predictable order for their produce. This project also eliminates food waste from over-harvesting when demand is low, increasing production efficiency through effective planning, which results in higher income and greater market exposure for the farms involved.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Expand the HDP program as a year-round sustainable project in Decatur County
- This will result in an increase in revenue for the HHM and increased sales of 5-10% for each identified farm
- Use employee wellness tracking to record hospital employee participation, with a goal of at least 15% of employees utilizing the program
- Use patient wellness tracking to record how many patients are utilizing the program
- Partner with at least four new agricultural producers in Decatur County
- Increase knowledge/purchase habits of fresh produce by prescribed patients and the community
- Share findings through HHM website, social media and public presentations