What you eat is paramount to your health, yet far too often people find themselves grabbing a less-than-ideal snack from a machine rather than enjoying something that is wholesome, fresh, and nutritious.
In an effort to help people make better food choices, Weaver’s Orchard of Morgantown is rolling out Orchard2Office, a new food delivery service, with the first deliveries to take place the week of January 22, 2013.
“This service allows participants to conveniently incorporate healthy food into their snacking options while at work,” said Rachel Wenger, the Orchard2Office Project Manager at Weaver’s Orchard. “This is just one way for Weaver’s Orchard to reach out to the community and support the buying and selling of local produce.”
Through Orchard2Office, an individual will be able to purchase a box consisting of approximately fifteen pieces of fruit, plus one healthy snack – such as apple chips, pretzels, or apple cider) , for $13.99 per week. Employers pay nothing to participate in the program.
To place orders, participants simply go to Weaver’s Orchard website - www.weaversorchard.com - and click on the ‘Orchard2Office’ link, and then the ‘What’s Inside This Week’ tab. This will take them to a page showing a list of the items which will be in the upcoming box, with the contents typically being seasonal items. Items can also be viewed on Weaver’s Orchard’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WeaversOrchard).
“We are committed to featuring our own homegrown fruit with some other fruits that are from local farms,” explained Wenger. “However, we will also include some classic items that are not local but still very much in season, fresh and delicious.”
For a workplace to qualify for an Orchard2Office delivery there must be at least ten orders made per week (or a sum of 10 orders for multiple businesses within the same building). Orders and deliveries with businesses are placed on a week by week basis only, with no contract required.
“In order for us to deliver to your office all we need is permission from your employer,” explained Wenger. “Your company will determine a drop off location for the delivery each week, and we will notify your office by email once the delivery is made.”
Deliveries are made on the Tuesday following the week of the order, as long as that order is received by 5 p.m. on Fridays (Wenger said that Weaver’s chose Tuesdays for the delivery date because the large majority of the fruit picking is done on Mondays). Participants will be prompted to provide an email address for confirmation at the completion of their purchase.
If a business does not have at least ten orders, Wenger encourages interested parties to contact Weaver’s to see if another nearby delivery would permit a smaller delivery to be made to a location. She added that there are 10 businesses currently signed on for deliveries, and six more business which are looking to participate.
“The best the thing to do is simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check with us to see what we can do for you,” she said.
The Orchard2Office concept was envisioned and implemented by several Weaver’s employees, including Wenger, Dwayne Musser (Market Manager), Rachel VanDuzer (Marketing), Weaver’s owner Ed Weaver, and former employee Brandon Hertzler.
The program was tested out with a six-week long pilot program take place over the summer of 2012. The successful results have been a green light for Wenger to go forward with the year-round Orchard2Office program.
Renee Trent, a customer service representative with Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, Inc. in Morgantown, reached out to Weaver’s to take part in the pilot program.
“(Orchard2Office) is great. I follow Weaver’s Orchard on Facebook, and they post on their Facebook page what items are going to be in the box. I used my PayPal account to sign up for the deliveries. It was very easy to do,” Trent said. “In Elverson we do not have a grocery store, so I would order from Weaver’s and take the fruit home for my family. Others will leave there fruit here and eat it throughout the week. I am really excited that the program is starting back up. It is a great idea and I will do it every week.”
Pastor Bonnie Moore of Shenkel United Church of Christ in North Coventry Township was also a pilot program participant. She said that she has ‘talked up’ the return of the program to her congregation, and that she is personally looking forward to signing up again.
“When the program was first being offered in the summer we were having a study on eating, health, and agriculture, and when I heard about the program I thought ‘This is perfect timing!’” she said. “We had a small group participate and we all thought that it was fantastic. The three reasons which I like it are that it supports local agriculture, it is healthy food, and I like the way that the food is produced.”
Depending on the ongoing success of the Orchard2Office program, Weaver’s may soon be offering vegetables and other goods in addition to fruit, should enough customers show an interest in the program’s expansion.
Weaver’s Orchard grows fruit with health in mind, and will always try to limit the amount of pesticides used in production. To find out more about Weaver’s Orchard’s farming practices go to www.weaversorchard.com/about-us/about-us-values.
To contact Rachel Wenger at Weaver’s Orchard call 610-856-7300.