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Community Supported Agriculture

Gold Standard  Employer: RTI International

Community Supported Agriculture

RTI International has made a commitment to sustaining a culture that values, enables, and supports healthy food choices, while providing access to healthy nutrition for the staff. In 2002, as part of a Golden LEAF Foundation initiative, NC State University's Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) teamed with the NC Cooperative Extension Service and RTI to organize a community supported agriculture (CSA) program for local farmers and Research Triangle Park employees.. The first deliveries took place in the summer of 2003, and soon after, the program was turned over to RTI to host on an ongoing basis. 

Prior to receiving funding and becoming a part of RTI Wellness in 2014, the onsite CSA program was spearheaded and supported entirely on a volunteer basis. In 2015, the program marked its 13th year of operations and is now run by a three member committee with farmers who come weekly to RTl's campus with CSA shares and produce items for walk-up customers. Not only is the onsite market convenient for staff, it has fostered a sense of community and built relationships with local farmers and the food people put on their 

The CSA farmers and RTI Wellness have also partnered with RTl's onsite cafeteria vendor to use the local produce for catered events on campus. Going forward, RTI Wellness is looking at expanding this relationship by using their produce in the cafeteria as well as hosting Farm to Table events, showcasing the importance of local foods and healthy eating for the staff at RTI. The CSA and Farmers Market is open to RTI employees as  well as anyone in the Research Triangle Park area.