Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Amanda Topinka: Bountiful Baskets - Bringing Fresh Produce to your Hometown!

Photo Credit: Dylan Brown / IR

Just because Rose Hill, Kansas is left without a grocery store doesn’t mean there isn’t a place to get groceries anymore - or at least fresh vegetables at a low cost!  And everybody that knows me knows that I’m a sucker for a good deal.  Especially when it comes to food --- and --- oh my goodness am I stoked about my latest {LOCAL} discovery!

Thanks to local volunteers, Rose Hill now has a healthy alternative when shopping for fresh, healthy produce...
Bountiful Baskets.

Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op (BBFC), which distributes produce purchased from a small producer, has started a brand new pick-up site in Rose Hill in the Rose Hill Rec Center.

Previously, the closest pick-up sites were in Derby, Andover and Wichita.

Volunteers for BB said a lot of people in the Rose Hill area were interested based on small town talk and social media touts. It only took a few weeks to find a location and submit paperwork to get the whole process going.

The volunteer-based group offers $15 baskets with half fruits, half veggies {without an advance list of what will be included}.  One example of the contents includes: a pineapple, a watermelon, a cantaloupe, a couple cucumbers, nine rainbow carrots, bunches of green onions, a jicama fruit, six apples, six nectarines, four bok choy, and baby lettuce.  To order a basket, you must first sign up to become a member of the co-op.  There’s a one-time fee of $3.00, which pays for a laundry basket {that stays at the pickup location}.

Photo Credit:  Bountiful Baskets

Organic produce is $10 more per basket.  Add-ons are available and can be selected in advance.  Examples of add-ons were 25lb boxes of nectarines or 8 lbs. of strawberries, banana bread, Italian herbs and veggies, and SO much more!  There are also tortilla or bread add-ons with 9 grain, honey wheat, banana, or sourdough varieties.  A case of five loaves of bread runs about $10-12.

The orders or contributions are placed online every two weeks between Monday at noon and Tuesday evening, on a first-come first-served basis.  Pickup is the following Saturday at 10:30am and you have 20 minutes to pick up your basket at the designated area.

Volunteers help unload the truck and check inventory sheets. Bountiful Baskets are always looking for volunteers, who are required to have contributed towards that week's baskets and must be over 13-years-old.

The produce is then distributed into the baskets.  When people come to pick up their order, they need their confirmation number, then they are given a basket number, which changes each time. People bring a container for carrying their produce home, leaving the basket to be used again.  If, for any reason, there are baskets left over, the food will be generously donated to the local fire department.

I took advantage of this delicious deal for the first time this week and fully plan to continue doing so!  The variety in foods from week to week forces myself {and my family} to expand our repertoire and eat healthier as well!

Thanks, Rose Hill volunteers … for giving us ANOTHER reason to love our awesome small town!

For more information, visit the Bountiful Baskets website and sign up for a location near you!

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