SC Public Employee Benefit Authority offers onsite farmer’s market to employees

What began as a fresh fruit and vegetable initiative is now a weekly farmer’s market offered onsite to SC Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) employees. PEBA began this initiative by running a small fruit and vegetable stand. A distributor would deliver fruits and vegetables one day each week that the PEBA Employee Appreciation Committee would sort and display in two locations at the agency. At the end of each workday, the committee would collect the remaining produce and store perishable items in the fridge to keep them fresh. After seeing the success and continued demand for the fruit and vegetable stand, PEBA decided they could make this even easier by expanding produce options for employees by having a farmer’s market come to the agency.

PEBA invited neighboring businesses to take participate in the initiative to increase the impact of having easily accessible produce. After exploring a few options, PEBA invited Nate Martin’s farmers market to become a weekly staple at the agency. Martin estimates around 200 people purchase produce at the PEBA location each week.

Each week, Thomas Orton, Health Initiatives Coordinator, sends an email promoting the date and time the farmer’s market will be at the agency. Orton explains how easy it is to offer an onsite farmer’s market: “The morning of the farmers market I set up tables in our courtyard. At the end of the day, I put the tables back in storage. It’s as simple as that.”

Support from senior management has helped make this initiative successful and ensures that the wellness committee has the support it needs to continue to offer successful wellness programming at PEBA.

Sarah Corbett, Chief Operating Officer at PEBA, explains the importance of this healthy fruit and vegetable initiative: “At PEBA, we are consciously working to provide resources that promote healthy behaviors for our employees. We believe providing healthy food options is an important resource to offer. By offering an onsite farmer’s market, we’re increasing the healthy food options available to our employees, and we’re supporting local farmers in our community. For us, it’s a win-win opportunity.”

This initiative works with PEBA’s overall wellness strategy as they are trying to make the healthy choice the easy choice at the agency. The mission statement of PEBA’s newly formed wellness committee is: To improve the health, well-being and quality of life of all PEBA employees by creating a culture that encourages and supports healthy behaviors.

Orton explains that this initiative continues to support the PEBA’s wellness committee’s mission: “We feel that having an onsite farmers market demonstrates our commitment to this mission. By bringing produce to our employees, we are eliminating barriers for those who may not have convenient access to healthy options either on their commute to and from work or where they live.”

For more information on offering Nate Martin’s farmer’s market at your worksite, contact him at 803.308.6481.

08-24-2017 04:42 (EDT)