Winters are never fun at grocery stores. They are always full of people crowding to get food and supplies before the next big storm. But for Northern Kentucky University students, faculty and staff, there is another option this winter that offers the ability to shop without even leaving their homes.
NKU is partnering with Green B.E.A.N. Delivery to set up and initiate a new way for people to get fresh, homegrown products delivered directly to their doorstep. NKU is the first university the organization has partnered with for a program like this.
On either a weekly or bi-weekly basis, people can place orders online from a virtual grocery store that will be delivered to their home. Founded in 2007 and originally named Farm Fresh Delivery, it later changed its name to include the acronym B.E.A.N. to match its new company initiatives to provide food that is biodynamic and promotes education, agriculture and nutrition.
“We are serious about the health and wellness of people in the community,” said John Freeland, general manager of Green B.E.A.N.
Kim Baker, employee wellness manager at NKU’s Wellness Center, said she thinks it is a very good thing for NKU.
“Anytime we can support the local community, we are also teaching people and making it convenient to eat healthy foods,” Baker said.
Green B.E.A.N. typically works with between 50 and 100 different local farms, both small and large, during a season. One of their largest farms is Elmwood Stock Farm near Georgetown, Ky. They also work with farms in Indiana and Ohio.
“It really makes supporting your local economy easier,” Freeland said. “It fosters support of local farms.”
NKU’s partnership with Green B.E.A.N. began when Baker and co-workers were introduced to the service during a meeting in 2010. After hearing about the usefulness of the service, they developed a way to promote it.
“We are just kind of the middleman to introduce people to them,” Baker said. “You can go in and set up your own personal delivery schedule.”
She added that it can be changed to suit your needs. Food will be delivered a few days after the order is placed, and maps are available on the website to determine delivery days.
The partnership not only offers the grocery delivery service to students on and off campus, but also benefits members of the community. As part of their agreement with NKU, Green B.E.A.N. has agreed to donate a pound of food to a local food bank on a bi-weekly basis each time an order is placed.
Special benefits are offered to NKU customers through the partnership.
NKU users will be able to schedule tours of farms that Green B.E.A.N. uses for its food sometime this year.
Also, anyone who places their first order will receive 50 percent off their first purchase of a produce bin.
NKU will be hosting two Green B.E.A.N. “lunch and learns” from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16 in Student Union Room 105. Attendees can learn about the company, how to navigate the website and how to register.
Anyone who is interested in this new grocery option or attending a lunch and learn can e-mail Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out http://www.greenbeandelivery.com for more information.
Story by Sean Dressman