Bedford VA Continues its Monthly Produce Market Through the Winter

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With warm hearts and chilly fingers, a crew from the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Bedford VA Volunteer Service received pallets of fresh produce on a cold January morning, then packed bags for delivery to Veterans who came to the market. Pictured (l-r) Debbie Murchie, Voluntary Specialist; Jimmy Williams, a volunteer from Tewksbury VFW; Kevin Dougherty, Voluntary Specialist; Alex Gagnon, Voluntary Specialist; Rita Gambrell, Voluntary Specialist; Laurel Holland, Chief, Voluntary Service; Tony Ng, Health Systems Specialist – Image (c) JMcCT, 2019 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

 

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

 

Jimmy Williams, a volunteer from the Tewksbury VFW and Nicole Ellsworth, an Air Force Veteran and wife of Col. Chad Ellsworth the 66th Air Base Group and installation commander at Hanscom Air Force Base, handed out tote bags, reminding Veterans of the services available through the Veterans Crisis Line – Image (c) JMcCT, 2018 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

Veterans and their families who are eligible for VA healthcare are invited to visit the monthly Produce Market at the Bedford VA for access to free, fresh produce.

According to Voluntary Services Director Laurel Holland, more than 100 customers visited the market, including 50 newly-registered Coast Guard families attached to Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford. In addition to the customers, volunteers from Bedford and surrounding communities helped VA staff to make the Market possible.

The next  Produce Market will be held on February 21, from 12:30 to 2 pm.

The monthly market began in April 2018 and is held on the third Thursday of each month from 12:30 to 2 pm. It is a collaboration between the Bedford VA and the Greater Boston Food Bank. The items change each month, and a nutritionist is on site to suggest recipes.

Bedford VA’s Veterans Free Produce Market serves Veterans, Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard Service members without income limits.

Veterans are invited to pre-register for the market by calling 781-687-2342.

A drive-up market was instituted on a clear, cold day in January because the Bedford VA is always looking for ways to improve client experience easier and to honor the Veteran’s time. Instead of looking for parking and walking through the hospital, tyhe drive-up location will make it easier to access the Produce Market and eliminate the need to shuttle or carry heavy bags to your car.

An FAQ ~ Frequently Asked Questions ~ was posted just prior to the January 2019 Produce Market

  • What if I want to pick out items myself? You are welcome to park your car and come over to make your own selection. In severe weather, the food may be bagged inside Building 61 and brought out curbside for drive up. Use caution crossing the street!
  • Recipes Find easy, healthy recipes with everyday ingredients at www.clickncook.org.
  • Where exactly do I drive up to get to the Free Produce Market? Watch for the signs, take the road next to Building 1 at the flag pole, pass the water tower and come in behind Building 61. Please honor the 10mph speed limit for everyone’s safety.
  • Do you need volunteers? Bedford VA has a strong volunteer force and is always grateful for more! Individuals, groups, and corporations are welcome to call 781-687-3076 to volunteer at Free Produce Market or in the hospital.
  • News and Updates Would you like to get notifications about the Produce Market and other Bedford VA news in your email inbox? Sign up at www.Bedford.VA.gov
  • Where does the food come from? Food at the Bedford VA Free Produce Market comes through our partner organization, The Greater Boston Food Bank, www.gbfb.org

The Bedford VA Social Work Service can connect eligible families with supportive services including outreach, case management, help obtaining benefits, temporary financial assistance with rent, utility, and child care expenses. Call 781-687-2374 to learn more!

Dates of planned Produce Markets through the end of 2019 – Courtesy image (c) all rights reserved


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