Recently, we talked about sustainable food practices and addressing food insecurity. At High Country Community Health, we have many resources available to aid in the fight to improve these issues, but few compare to our team of Patient Resource Specialists.
We have a Patient Resource specialist at each of our medical clinics, whose mission is to meet the specific needs of the individual, connecting them to the appropriate resources in their community. Access to healthy, fresh food is just one of the many ways they can help.
With the extra Food and Nutrition Services benefits (food stamps) received during the pandemic coming to an end last month, we are expecting many people in our community to experience increased levels of food insecurity. Please ask to speak to our Patient Resource Specialist at your next visit for a full list of food assistance resources.
A prime example of these resources is a pay-what-you-can eatery called F.A.R.M. Cafe, which stands for, Feed All Regardless of Means. High Country Community Health partners with F.A.R.M. Café often, and many of our staff go and enjoy the delicious meals themselves!
Registered Nurse Liz Campbell states, "The F.A.R.M. Café is an integral part of the many resources in Watauga County." Shortly after moving to Boone and hearing about the F.A.R.M. Café, she visited.
"It was St Patrick’s Day, 2022, and my husband and I found ourselves sitting on the 70’s-style barstools, eating corned beef and Colcannon. The meal, the spice cookie, and the friendly staff were all memorable. I appreciated the limited-choice daily menu because it led me to eat something I wouldn’t typically order. The portions were practical, and coffee and a small dessert were included. It was the perfect midweek lunch date.
I promptly went home and added a traditional Irish Colcannon recipe to my collection. And each time I’ve been back to the F.A.R.M. Café, I’ve always asked for a cookie.
There are very few pay-what-you-can cafes in America, so it is great to see F.A.R.M. Cafe have success with this unique business model. The High Country is truly lucky to have this gem– the food is creative and delicious, locally sourced as much as possible, and food waste is minimized. The main entree, sides, and dessert change daily. There are, however, some certainties in visiting the F.A.R.M Cafe. You can always expect to find salad and veggies, as well as options for gluten-free and vegetarian. Most importantly, you can tell from the cafe’s ambiance that the food is made and served with love for the community.
The F.A.R.M. Café also runs F.A.R.M. Full Circle– a food recovery and redistribution program wherein prepared meals get distributed among the community with the help of several community partners, including:
Hunger and Health Coalition (food boxes and to-go meals)
Hospitality House (food boxes and community meals)
Casting Bread Ministries
I hope everyone reading this, regardless of whether you live locally or off the mountain, will someday visit the F.A.R.M. Café and contribute to their amazing work-- pay more or pay less, or offer to volunteer some of your time. No amount of help is too small.”
You can also help by following F.A.R.M. Café’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the daily menu and learn more about upcoming special events.