It’s official. The local food movement has arrived on campus. Briarwood Continuing Care Retirement Community will be the North Worcester pick-up site for the Massachusetts Local Food Co-op starting Friday, February 4 at 5:00 p.m. On that day Briarwood will send our van and driver to pick up orders from the co-op’s sorting site in Westminster. The driver will deliver the orders to the Birches Auditorium where Briarwood residents, employees and co-op members from the community will pick up their orders. Briarwood volunteers, Peg Cichon, Barbara Frost, Stan Johnson and Ken Nystrom will greet customers as they arrive and assist them with their orders. Other pick-up sites are in Westminster, Sterling, Berlin and Holden.
The Mass Local Food Coop is a network of consumers, farmers, and artisans focused on providing fresh, local foods to those who seek them. Their customers buy products from local farmers and food producers by way of an online shopping and distribution system. “We are thrilled to be working with Briarwood,” said Kelley O’Connor, president of Mass Local Food Co-op, “The location is excellent and the Briarwood residents are a huge asset.”
“This partnership will not only connect Briarwood with a community of local farmers and their customers,” said Anita Thomas, Briarwood’s public relations and community outreach director. “It will provide a tremendous volunteer opportunity for our residents, showcase Briarwood to the Worcester community, and provide on-site local food and products to our residents, employees, their families and friends.”
The Mass Local Food Co-op will hold two informational presentations on Thursday, January 13 at 2p.m and 6:30p.m. These will be held in the Birches Auditorium, 65 Briarwood Circle, Worcester. Residents, family, friends and the general public are welcome to attend.
You can access the Mass Local Food Coop website at www.masslocalfood.org. There you’ll be able to meet the farmers and learn what is available for sale–everything from fresh, farm raised eggs, artisanal cheeses, grass fed beef, pastured pork and chicken. There is also a host of other local products including baked goods—scones, breads, tarts, cakes and crafted soaps. You can visit the site anytime. Once a month local food shopping is open for co-op members. You will need to join the co-op before you are able to access the order site. Simply go to the “How to Join” page and fill in the information; the $50 membership fee will be applied to your first invoice.
You’re free to order as much or as little as you like. Briarwood volunteer Jan Perry will be in the Craft and Chat Room Tuesday, January 25 at 1:00 p.m. to assist residents, employees, friends and family to sign up and place orders for the Friday, February 4 delivery date. She will be available once a month every month after that. . On delivery day—the first Friday of the month—your order will be delivered to Briarwood. You just need to pay by check and pick it up. If you are interested in Mass Local Food Coop volunteer opportunities at Briarwood on the first Friday of the month, please contact Anita Thomas at 508-852-9007.