Produce with a Purpose

Local grown vegetables used for Produce with a Purpose baskets.

OTTUMWA — The Produce with a Purpose Food Box Program is ready to begin its season.

Whether the pandemic continues throughout the summer, Food Box Coordinator Hilary Lanman said she and the local farmers she works with are ready to grow produce and deliver it to those in need.

Delivery dates are scheduled for June 9 and 10, June 23 and 24, July 7 and 8, July 28 and 29, August 11 and 12, August 25 and 26, September 8 and 9, September 22 and 23.

Residents who want food boxes are asked to sign up by the 25th of the previous month and pay by the first of the month. Each box includes six to 10 different types of vegetables and fruits, costing $15. Pick up locations will be at Wapello County Extension Office, the Bridge View Center parking lot, and Davis County Extension office.

Lanman, the farmers, and the food safety team from Iowa State University plan to take special precautions to ensure the program can go forward and produce can be handed out safely.

“We will follow essential and special guidelines from the CDC on what to do,” Lanman said. “We will take the necessary precautions such as wearing gloves and masks when handing out the produce.”

According to the Produce with a Purpose website, in the event that Lanman and staff are unable to deliver to the worksites they will provide local curbside pickup sites for customers who want to order boxes. “In the event that you have paid for a box or boxes and we are unable to go forward with our program this year, you will get a full refund of the amount you have paid,” the website said.

Lanman is hopeful going forward with the program, but will make changes depending on the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are going forward tentatively,” she said. “I’m excited for the program. If anything changes we will keep them updated. I encourage people to sign up soon as registration will end May 25 for the June delivery.”

For more information on the program contact Hilary Lanman at hilaryl@iastate.edu.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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