The AMI Farm at Augusta Health started in 2018 as a joint venture of AMI and Augusta Health. AMI and Augusta Health share the vision that access to excellent health care includes access to healthy food.
Our 1-acre vegetable farm on the Augusta Health campus in Fishersville, VA supplies fresh, organically grown produce to the hospital food system, clinical integration initiatives, and community outreach programs focused on food security for disease prevention and community wellness.
Approximately 24,000 pounds of vegetables are grown yearly, supporting community health throughout Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro through these initiatives such as:
Food Farmacy is a prescription produce program in which patients with diet-related chronic health conditions complicated by barriers to healthy food access are referred to a 12-week course. Participants enjoy health education classes taught by physicians, dietitians, and health educators. Each class is accompanied by cooking demonstrations led by Augusta Health’s chefs and participants receive a weekly voucher to purchase freshly harvested vegetables. Each participant selects sufficient produce to supply their entire household for the duration of the program.
CROP TO COMMUNITY
Augusta Health uses a Social Determinants of Health screening to identify patients with barriers to accessing food. These patients are provided with weekly home delivery of seasonal produce, plus fresh eggs and meats from other local farmers. Recipes and produce guides accompany each delivery. Each week fresh produce boxes are delivered to 50 patients.
HOME HEALTH AND HOSPICE
Individuals who are either hospice patients or homebound patients with intensive health needs are offered a weekly box of produce. Nurses deliver boxes of freshly harvested vegetables to 60 households in Staunton and Augusta County. Each box is brimming with 5-6 varieties, valued at $20, and is often accompanied by fresh flowers and a recipe.
AUGUSTA HEALTH CAMPUS
Vegetables are integrated into the Augusta Health campus through the cafeteria, catering programs, and patient meals. Vegetables are also sold through a farm stand and CSA to hospital staff.
STAUNTON-AUGUSTA HEALTH DEPARTMENT FARMERS MARKET
Produce is sold to families enrolled in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers' Market Nutrition Program at this weekly market. By bringing the farmers market to the WIC clients in the same location and timeframe that the WIC clinicians see patients, the market has successfully increased voucher redemption rates and the produce intake of participating families.
BLUE RIDGE AREA FOOD BANK
Augusta Health’s Community Benefit implementation strategy prioritizes distributing fresh produce to community members to increase food security. Vegetables are delivered to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank's participating Healthy Pantries to increase clients’ access to fresh, local, and organically grown produce.
Community education is central to the mission of the AMI Farm at Augusta Health. In addition to the food literacy resources and recipes that accompany vegetable distribution, farm staff offer a number of workshops and webinars for the general public. Topics range from home gardening to understanding the food system, confident cooking with fresh produce, and understanding the health benefits of a plant-rich diet. All health information is taught in collaboration with the Augusta Health staff.