As a healthcare food service director, have you ever asked: What can my hospital and food service department do to support sound nutrition for patients, employees, and visitors? And what can we do to support the economies of the communities we serve as well?
Here’s an idea… What about having a farmers market on the hospital grounds?
Fresh, locally grown products available to communities—especially urban communities where these foods are lacking—can help promote healthy eating habits.
Think of the impact a farmers market has on a hospital and the communities it serves. Fun, outdoor venues set the stage for education on nutrition, food preparation, and food demonstrations using locally grown products. Great way to increase employee morale as well!
What benefits can a farmers market deliver for your hospital? Positive publicity, for one. You set your hospital apart from your competitors. It’s also a great outlet for employee health, high-profile nutrition education, and improved community relations. Of course, you can enjoy improved patient satisfaction, too. You were planning to include these locally grown products in your menu, right?
Hospital farmers markets help stimulate the locally economy as well. Local agriculture, small farmers, and growers have new outlets for their products. Eliminating the distributor and middle-man gives farmers a fair wage and keeps dollars in the local economy.
Hospitals all over the US and Canada are jumping on the band wagon. How about your hospital?
For information on starting a farmers market at your hospital visit: www.noharm.org. For more ideas about green and sustainable food service practices, check out the Food Service Sustainability Trends page on the Vision website.
by Tracey Turnquist, Director of Marketing and Sales, Vision Software