Healthy Food in Health Care

The Healthy Food in Health Care program harnesses the purchasing power and expertise of the health care sector to advance the development of a sustainable food system.

Through advocacy, and education, we motivate facilities to implement programs that explicitly connect all aspects of the food system with health. We catalyze sustainable procurement efforts, create clinician advocates, and inspire health care institutions to become leaders in shaping a food system that supports prevention-based health care.

Who We Are

Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) is a national initiative of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), developed in conjunction with its member organizations. We work with hospitals across the country to help improve the sustainability of their food services. Founded in 2005, the program provides education, tools, resources, and support to health care facilities, making the connection between the health of patients, staff and community and the food they serve.

The HFHC program is led by a team of allies from HCWH member organizations around the country, as well as independent contractors that provide issue-driven expertise. Find a HFHC organizer in your region.

The HFHC program also helps to coordinate the Healthier Food Challenge of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), a national sustainability initiative for the healthcare sector. Several of our programs, such as the Balanced Menus, Local & Sustainable Purchasing and Healthy Beverages are embedded in HHI.

What We Do

The program aims to leverage the significant purchasing power and health expert status of hospitals to promote a healthier food system. By purchasing foods that are produced, processed and transported in ways that are protective of public and environmental health, hospitals can make a profound difference in the food system and in their own food environments.

Getting Started with a Menu of Options

Many health care institutions have begun to adopt practices and policies to support a healthy food system — one that is environmentally sustainable, improves nutritional quality and supports human dignity and justice. Following these case studies, your facility can improve the quality of food choices by choosing among the recommendations offered in our Menu of Options (pdf).