UPPER WEST SIDE — An Upper West Side senior facility is joining the growing number of neighborhood institutions where locals can pick up baskets of fresh produce directly from local farms.
Starting next week Jewish Home Lifecare, a senior facility at 120 W. 106th St. will host a community-supported agriculture — or CSA — program where members pay to receive baskets of veggies and fruits each week throughout the growing season.
Several Upper West Side churches, schools and synagogues already host CSAs, which have flourished in popularity as locally-produced food has become more and more prized.
JHL will partner with Angel Family Farm in Goshen, New York. The CSA is open to anyone in the neighborhood and the JHL staff.
"Being an elder care institution, we like to think of ourselves as a hub of wellness," said Jessica Auerbach Burgoon, JHL's associated director of capital campaigns and sustainability. "We thought a CSA would be nice thing for us to host because it would make it easier for our staff and for people who live nearby to get fresh produce."
The CSA also fits in with Jewish Home Lifecare's efforts to be more environmentally responsible, Auerbach Burgoon said. JHL, which also operates facilities in Westchester and the Bronx, embarked on a sustainability initiative about five years ago, Auerbach Burgoon said. Since 2007, JHL has reduced its paper consumption by 7 percent, and it's cut energy use by 7 percent since 2009, Auerbach Burgoon said.
The CSA could also be a boon for people whose aging relatives are residents of JHL's nursing home, Auerbach Burgoon said, because they could pick up their CSA share while visiting their relative.
"We know that for family members of those who live in our nursing homes, there's a lot of stress associated with that experience," she said. "If they can come by and visit their loved one and at the same time do a little grocery shopping, we're hoping it will make their day a little easier."
Residents of the nursing home already have their meals provided, so they won't be using the CSA produce, but seniors who visit JHL for day programs are welcome to join the CSA, Auerbach Burgoon said.
The cost of the CSA at Jewish Home Lifecare ranges from $320 to $440 for the 20-week growing season, depending on how much produce customers want. The deadline to register is June 1. To sign up, visit the JHL website.