One of the biggest food trends keeping strong today is the idea that hospitals be more community oriented, whether that means being a great place to work, offering fresh meals that everyone loves, or finding small ways to give back and make a difference. The good news is, a lot of healthcare institutions are jumping onboard and establishing creative strategies to do so, but others are still struggling to make the transition. If you are one of the latter and you’re looking for ideas, you’re in the right place. In fact, two of the most popular ways many hospitals are already succeeding are through scratch cooking and food pantries – both of which you can start doing right now!
According to Greg Christian, the founder of Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners, “there’s nothing worse for ‘institutional’ food than an expansive menu,” which makes sense. The more items you offer, and the more complicated the recipes are, the lower the quality they’re going to be. By assessing your facility’s needs and keeping your list of fresh ingredients humble and true to what patients and staff actually like and consume, you never have to sacrifice quality just to stay in budget because you’ll be drastically reducing your waste streams in terms of both food waste and overproduction. This also means that you’ll have more money to spend on fresher, healthier ingredients as well, which will ultimately be more nutritionally valuable than the less expensive processed items you may have always thought you needed. You can get in touch with local farmers and distributors to see if you can get better deals on local products that allow you to do more for less. Just remember, keep it simple, and keep it small, and you’ll be surprised how much your foodservice staff and patients thank you.
As a healthcare profession, you already know the coloration between proper nutrition and health. In today’s world, fresh and healthy foods cost more than the processed items most stores are filled with – and even worse yet, the medications needed to combat the conditions often caused by said harmful ingredients are even more costly. So how then do hospitals cope? Why should a patient with an already less-than livable wage and terrible insurance have to choose between affording a decent, healthy meal, and the medication they need to survive? Well, the simplest answer is, with your help. The tricky truth most people don’t know is that if they make a habit of using nutrition to enhance their health, over time they likely won’t need the costly medications hindering their quality of life. How do you help? By offering a food pantry that allows patients and other members of the community to come out and get what they need without having to pay ridiculous prices for the “organic” label. Eventually, your community as a whole will inevitably become healthier, and your hospital staff can focus on real medical emergencies rather than dispensing medications all day for what you already know are preventable problems. And of course, a happier, healthier community is simply a nicer place to live.
For more information on how your facility can improve its foodservice operations and create a better, healthier, more caring environment for your community, contact our knowledgeable specialists at Vision Software! Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how our software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.