Food waste can be a major problem for most hospitals. Whether it’s the overall unappealing nature of traditionally bulk-bought hospital foods, or miscommunications regarding menu options and mealtimes, all those uneaten entrees can add up fast and cost your hospital big. Fortunately, there is something you can do that can dramatically cut down on your waste while simultaneously improving all your patients’ health and satisfaction – introduce an institutional community-supported agriculture (CSA) program.
An institutional CSA program not only offers your hospital dietary office a reliable influx of fresh and healthy ingredients to take advantage of, it can also help your facility build strong relationships with local farms and other vendors within your community. Arran Stark, an executive chef and director of dietary services at Jefferson Healthcare, who has already seen overwhelming success implementing this concept in his own facility, says that for him it’s all about being “the hearth of the community” and offering good food for a fair price. While Stark, and the rest of the his team at Jefferson Healthcare, prepare to expand their operations due to a vast increase in demand, more and more hospitals continue to get in on this revolutionary approach to foodservice. CSA programs make it much easier to purchase primarily locally sourced ingredients. By paying for all your produce for the season up front, you can ensure that your diet office is able to focus more of its attention on the important things, like providing exceptional care, and preparing delicious meals that facilitate better health. Better, more appealing food means patients are more likely to eat more/all of their meals, and greater nutrient intake means faster recovery times and even fewer associated costs. As diet and foodservice trends continue to advance toward more sustainable options, every healthcare leader needs to be looking for a way to get involved so that they can guarantee the best possible care for their patients as well as a more sustainable future for their community at large.
To help you go one step even further and ensure that you create the most sustainable healthcare environment possible for your patients, guests, and employees, be sure to check out our comprehensive list of innovative software applications at Vision Software. Designed to streamline your dietary office’s daily operations, reduce waste, and increase patient health and satisfaction, our software applications can help you achieve any foodservice goals you may have, in no time. 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.