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Eating healthy just got easier

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The region’s largest employer has made its employees in Columbus aware of a new service to bring healthy foods into their homes year-round.

Cummins’ local employees were the first in the city to learn about and benefit from Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, an online home-delivery service.

Established in 2007, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery provides natural groceries and organic produce delivered to its customers’ doorsteps.

Customers are able to order fresh, locally grown seasonal produce, as well as meats, bulk items and grocery items. The company’s first deliveries to city households are scheduled to be made today.

B.E.A.N. is an acronym for the company’s mission, which is to offer customers biodynamic, education, agriculture and nutrition.

Introduced as part of Cummins’ health and wellness program, participation in the delivery service is voluntary, said Dr. Dexter Shurney, the engine maker’s chief medical director.

As part of the introduction, Cummins employees will also have access to healthy recipes and a nutritionist.

Overall, the early response from employees to the home-delivery program has been excellent, Shurney said.

If it proves to be successful in Columbus, the delivery service will be expanded to Cummins employees in the Seymour area, Shurney said.

“This is one of many things we are doing for our employees to promote healthy lifestyles,” Shurney said. “It’s about finding opportunities that are customized, and not one-size-fits-all.”

Beginning this week, all Columbus area residents may also sign up for the Indianapolis-based delivery service, said John Freeland, vice president of Green B.E.A.N. Delivery.

The company has Indiana locations in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Muncie and Anderson. It also operates in Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri.

“We have been looking at Columbus and receiving lots of interest for a couple of years now,” Freeland said. “Cummins is somewhat a springboard to reach that critical mass that we need to make these expansions.”

The company’s online store opens at 3 p.m. each Thursday, remains open until noon Monday, and deliveries are made Tuesday through Friday, Freeland said.

“For Columbus, specifically, we have split up sections of the city and put them on designated days,” Freeland said. “Right now, Tuesday is the day we will deliver. And as we go, it may split and become Tuesday and Wednesday.”

There are three bin sizes — small, medium and large — to choose from when ordering fruits and vegetables, and all may be customized to fit individual needs. Customers must place a minimum $35 order to receive home delivery, Freeland said.

Customers can also order produce and grocery items as part of the service.

Delivering food to customers 40 miles away becomes economically viable when there is an adequate demand, Freeland said.

Partnering with Cummins gave the company the foot-hold it needed to grow its customer base to include Columbus, he said.

“The support we have from communities allows us to leverage that support and drive down the cost of goods,” Freeland said. “It is very much competitive to brick-and-mortar stores.”

Each week, the service makes an estimated 3,200 deliveries in the Indianapolis area and serves a customer base of nearly 7,000, Freeland said.

The service provides a year-round supplement to the seasonal farmers markets that operate in the Columbus market from spring to fall.

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