Hennepin County Medical Center — HCMC — has joined 200 other hospitals around the country in agreeing to serve healthy, sustainable food.
The effort is sponsored by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups.
The group’s food initiative says: “By adopting food procurement policies that are ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially responsible, health care systems demonstrate an understanding of the inextricable links between human, public, and ecosystem health.”
The hospital, based in downtown Minneapolis, says it will “increase patient and employee access to fresh, local, sustainably grown vegetables and fruits including increased purchase of seasonally available local produce and implementing a program whereby hospital employees can purchase shares of produce grown on a local farm and have them delivered to their workplace during the growing season.”
“From the way food is grown, to the way it’s packaged, shipped, prepared and discarded, hospital food purchasing decisions and food service policies can play important roles in promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing chronic disease, and contributing to ecological health,” said David Hutchinson, family physician and president of Minnesota Academy of Family Practitioners.