Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Growing Farm to Hospital

A growing number of hospitals are shifting the way they think about protecting and improving health, and taking a closer look at how and where the food they serve is grown. This is great news for the people who receive treatment, work at and visit the hospitals, but it’s also great news for local, sustainable farmers, and could become an important infrastructure pillar in building stronger local food systems. 

We’ve just put the finishing touches on a two-year assessment (funded by a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant) of the current and potential health care food markets for North Central region sustainable farmers. We collaborated with three health systems (Fairview Health Services, Hudson Hospital and Clinics, and the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota) and an advisory committee of farmers, hospital representatives and food systems experts to gather and analyze data to provide insights into opportunities for and roadblocks to hospital sourcing of more local, sustainably produced food.

Farm to Hospital is more complicated than it might sound at first. Limited hospital resources and the complexity of food purchase contracts and agreements at many hospitals have prevented farmers from accessing this market in any significant way to date. To help hospitals and farmers navigate some of these roadblocks, we’ve just released two region-specific reports—one aimed at hospitals and one aimed at farmers—detailing our project findings. We’ve also published a collection of Farm-to-Hospital toolkits and appendices containing resources designed to help North Central region hospitals maximize purchase of produce, meat and other products from sustainable farmers and producers, especially those in nearby communities. Likewise, there are tools to help sustainable farmers and producers to sell their products to hospitals. Find all of these resources on www.iatp.org/farm-to-hospital. Further, we’ve provided each of our hospital partners with customized “road maps” to aid their efforts in procuring local, sustainable food.

To help build stronger local food systems that work for farmers and the community, we’re going to need institutions with significant purchasing power to step up. Hospitals and schools that already serve local communities can be an important first step of building a healthier, more sustainable and resilient local food system!

See both our Hospital- and Farmer-Focused Farm to Hospital reports, and all associated toolkits on www.iatp.org/farm-to-hospital.

Sign up for our upcoming webinar to learn more:

December 19: Hospital-Focused presentation on Connecting Sustainable Farmers to Emerging Health Care Markets

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


I Live In A FarmUNtopia

If the new notion of local farming and food production is to endure, it must …

Reflecting on Today’s Market Trends: A Report from Barcelona

Is today’s public market a place to buy food, to sit and eat a meal, …

Agriculture Beyond Water

Drought is becoming more prevalent and causing havoc for food producers …

Grow Your Food in a Nook and Cranny Garden, Part 2     

Nook and cranny gardens optimize micro-climates — water catchment for …

How to Build and Plant Large Hugelkultur Berms

You can plant just about anything in your hugel beds and they will do well, …

Farming Starts in Cities

Farm commentators are remarking somewhat in surprise that the new move …

Hudson Valley Harvest: Transparency is Key to Scaling Local Food

When asked what a good food system looks like, Alward says, “I think …