A Hobby Farm and Local Harvest Fest Join Forces to Help the Hungry

Veggie Rx Program benefits from the friends of Copper Apple Farm

Oct. 27, 2016 (Hood River, Ore.) -- While the forecast has been calling for big rains much of this October, there has been at least a bit of “sunshine” in the Hood River Valley as of late. A crowd of people from throughout the Portland area turned up to experience Copper Apple Farm, partaking in both a Harvest Fest celebration as well as a fundraiser, benefiting the Veggie Rx Program at One Community Health.

Guests of the Harvest Fest initially donated $395 (with the possibility of more coming) to Veggie Rx, which is spearheaded by The Gorge Grown Food Network. The prescription program addresses food insecurity and increases the intake of fresh produce. A number of area partners, including One Community Health, play a vital role in implementing the program, such as by giving out the prescriptions to people in need.

“The Veggie Rx program is such an important resource for many of our patients,” says Brooke Nicholls, FNP-C, who oversees health promotion initiatives at One Community Health. “It allows some of our most vulnerable, food insecure patients to get healthy fruits and vegetables on their table. And so we were very grateful we were chosen as the beneficiary of these donated funds. It will certainly help us increase the number of families we are reaching and ensure the plentiful harvest in our region reaches as many hungry mouths as possible.”

In planning for their Harvest Fest, the four owners of Copper Apple Farm explored opportunities for “giving back” in the Hood River Valley. They decided on Veggie Rx because it aligned with both their new hobby and personal values. On Saturday, Oct. 15, they opened up their farm and property to friends and business clients, including those of Thrivent Community-Northwest Oregon, which partnered in organizing the event. Thrivent Financial® is a not-for-profit financial strategies organization that helps members be wise with money and live generously.

“In spite of heavy rain at times, people came out to enjoy food, games, cider pressing and other festivities,” says Jason Drews, one of the farm’s owners and Lead Financial Consultant at Thrivent Financial. “We were so grateful we could share this with all who came and even more honored to learn that our guests generously donated to the Veggie Rx program. It is obviously a great cause, and people enjoyed supporting such an important community service.”


According to Gorge Grown’s website, a recent Columbia Gorge Health Council Community Food Survey revealed the severity of food scarcity within the five counties of the Gorge. It found that one in three people worries regularly about running out of food, while one in five residents frequently skips meals…and all in a region that’s abundant in resources for food, everything from fishing to farming throughout the Gorge.

As Nicholls says, “Every dollar donated makes a difference as we are then better equipped with the resources to prescribe healthy food to those in need. With the upcoming winter months and holidays ahead, having a sense of what we can donate through this program will also be very important. And, of course, the more food prescriptions we can write, the healthier and happier people will be.”

About One Community Health
One Community Health (OCH) is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center with locations in The Dalles and Hood River, Ore. Formerly known as La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc., it was founded in 1986 and, today, has evolved into an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. OCH currently provides services to over 10,000 patients. In addition, OCH excels in providing proactive educational programs and support that sustain its integrated approach to health and wellbeing. Dedicated to advancing health and social justice for all its community members, OCH serves patients from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge Region: Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. For more information, click here or visit: http://www.onecommunityhealth.org/.

Media Contact:
Katie Roberts
Communications Developer
One Community Health
(303) 709-2912