Liska Lackey, a UNC Health Care nurse practitioner, said town employees are able to receive healthy food while the local farm earns its revenue.
“For the people who choose to participate in the program, (supporting local farmers) is one thing they feel strongly about,” said Lackey.
She said employees are also helping preserve the rural space around Chapel Hill.
“It’s a win-win,” she said.
The current program, which began on Sept. 1, is being held for the first time in the Fall/Winter season. Previous Chapel Hill CSA programs have taken place during the summer seasons of this year and last year.
Lackey said as of Sept. 16, there are 10 participants for the Fall/Winter program and that over 24 employees participated in this year's summer program.
Michael Brinkley, a third generation farmer at Brinkley Farms, said with the CSA programs that partnered with his farm, there is typically 50 percent less participation in the Fall/Winter program.
Employees joining after Sept. 1 can pay a prorated fee based on whenever they join.
Lackey said in addition to the convenience of the pick-up location, Brinkley’s wide array of choices in their boxes is another huge incentive for employees to opt for the program.
“Brinkley Farms sends out an email on Friday to all the participants and lets them know what produce is available for the next week, so they’re able to choose what they want,” she said.
Tiquila McNeill, aquatics specialist in the Town of Chapel Hill, said she has enjoyed the benefits of the program’s flexibility.
In one particular week, McNeill said she had an abundance of vegetables in her house from previous boxes, so for the subsequent week, she opted to swap out a few vegetables for meat and grains — another option that Brinkley Farms provides.
“We can get (produce) at a pretty affordable price, and we while we’re doing this we can support local farmers,” she said.
For her family of five, McNeill said she opted for a Family Share, which costs $390 for the 15 weeks, though she selected the weekly prorated option.
In addition to the Family Share, Brinkley Farms offers two other kinds of shares: an Individual Share for $240, for one or two people, and a Couple Share for $315, for two to three people.
Lackey said each share provides enough food for the week, and splitting shares between several employees is a popular option for participants.
Brinkley said working with Wellness@Work allows the farm to widen their customer base and continue delivering a variety of good quality products.
With customers spread around Chapel Hill, Durham and North Raleigh, Brinkley said about 95 percent of Brinkley Farm’s business comes from retail buyers, including CSA program participants and local farmer’s market shoppers. He said the farm also supplies produce to some local restaurants, and has a small percentage of wholesale business.
Brinkley said fortifying a bond with participants is also important to the farm. He said customers like getting to know the farmers, who are equally fond of building the relationship.
“We like the back and forth,” he said.
Brinkley said the farm hopes to continue their partnership with Wellness@Work for future seasons.