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Food Hub Produce Program

A sample box
Boxes awaiting purchase at a 2012 event.

WHO: Coordinated by the education department at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle. The effort is part of a grant called Transforming Texas, aiming to increase access to and affordability of fresh produce.

WHAT: Bags of mixed fruits and vegetables for $5 — each bag contains 15 to 20 pieces!

WHERE: Locations in Parker County, such as community centers, churches, libraries, etc.

WHEN: Any convenient time for the host, volunteers, and buyers. It usually works better to sort the produce a few hours before the event, rather than on a previous day. The food is fresher, and your volunteers only need to show up one day!

HOW: Produce is ordered through Fresh Point, the hospital’s produce vendor, who may be able to deliver to the event site. Texas Health Azle pays for it up front, and the hosting organization has 30 days to pay the invoice.

Success Story

The Transforming Texas grant team from Texas Health Azle conducted a sale of reduced-cost fruits and vegetables on Nov. 17, 2012. This event, open to all residents, was held in a parking lot at 404 W. Main Street in Azle, a well-known and easily accessible venue for the community.

For $5, residents could purchase a bag full of fresh produce, including apples, oranges, bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and tomatoes.

Marsha Ingle, community relations manager at Texas Health Azle, said the people who attended were very appreciative. One participant told her, “I haven’t had an orange in three years. ”

The enthusiasm from the community was huge. The almost 80 pre-sorted bags sold out in about half an hour, and people kept showing up, asking when the next event would take place. The team is making plans to expand the program to multiple locations throughout Parker and Hood counties.

If your organization is interested in providing a location or volunteers for a “food hub” event, please contact Jennifer Beck or Melanie Nieswiadomy.