Picking up fruits and vegetables can be as simple as taking a trip to the New Port Richey Public Library, if you want it to be.
The library is teaming up with Tampa Bay Organics, a Lutz-based business, for a delivery co-op effort that drops boxes of organically grown produce off at the library, (5939 Main Street, New Port Richey) every week.
Customers can order their produce online at the Tampa Bay Organics website and pick and choose what fruits and vegetables they wish to receive in a box. Then they can go to the library and pick up their box at the library circulation desk every week.
Ten percent of money from purchases goes to Friends of the New Port Richey Public Library, which is the nonprofit that raises money for the city library.
Ann Scott, outreach director for the library, met Tampa Bay Organics folks at an Earth Day event in downtown New Port Richey in April, and signed up for the business's co-op service. Scott herself is a supporter of a community garden project maintained by former city councilman Dell deChant.
The delivery co-op project is right in line with the library’s mission of connecting people with resources and other people, Scott said
“And in this case: Food,” she said.
In addition, “What people are doing is they’re helping the library as they purchase the produce,” she said.
Scott is trying to grow the program, which made its first delivery to the library recently. Anyone can make a purchase as a part of the service: A New Port Richey Public Library card is not required, and you don’t need to live in the city. Orders are delivered every Tuesday to the library.
Tampa Bay Organics delivers fruits and vegetables that are grown in Florida or elsewhere, Scott said. She said she would like to incorporate local growers and include their produce in the program’s offering.
“I would love that,” she said. “That would make it so much better to have local growers join in.”
Over the weekend, she said Suncoast Co-Op, a new organization that includes local growers, has expressed interest in participating but couldn't confirm details.
Want to find out more about the Tampa Bay Organics co-op? Check out Tampa Bay Organics' website. https://www.tampabayorganics.com/ If you would like to join the program, select New Port Richey Public Library from the co-op to have 10 percent of your order donated to Friends of the Library.