Chris RussellRecently, our readers have been hearing about our expanded outreach efforts at Happy Patch Market. The purpose is not only to share locally grown fresh produce with citizens throughout southwest Georgia – although we enjoy meeting this demand! But we also have found that sharing something as simple as fresh, shelled peas can also share the mission of Perry Wellness Center. As our peers grow and prepare produce for the market and then interact with customers and outside vendors, they provide an important message about recovery and help reduce the stigma of mental illness.

“Good food carries a positive message,” Stuart Perry explains. “With our increasing successes at Happy Patch Market, I wanted to provide products that will carry our name.” The center has now begun to offer a program for delivery of fresh produce to vendors throughout our service area. Products are delivered within hours of being ordered, arriving in ice chests. Peers then place each delivery where it is needed for continued refrigeration.

The first vendor to sign up for the new program was Chris Russell of Morgan’s Grocery in Tazewell, a small town in Marion County. When approached by fellow Marion County resident and PWC staff member Mulkey McMichael, Chris agreed to try our produce. His first order quickly sold out, and he has already reordered.

Two other corporate providers have also signed on and plan to offer produce in their menu plans. As the market increases in southwest Georgia, additional produce is being prepared and peas shelled. Busy summer days ahead!

In the photo above, Matt Rustin, left, and Chase Cook transfer five pea varieties from Happy Patch Market to display hampers at Morgan’s Grocery in Tazewell.

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