California

The California Healthy Food in Health Care Program (HFHC) engages over 170 acute care facilities, representing over 30% of all hospitals in the state. We work with a network of healthcare leaders and allies in the sustainable agriculture community, regional and national distributors, foodservice management companies, and group purchasing organizations to transform the food system toward greater sustainability. 

In 2015, 96% of the 46 facilities that completed our annual survey, reported allocating an average of 20% of their budgets toward purchasing local food contributing to the regional economy.  With the help of HCWH, a coordinated group of 39 California hospitals have served nearly nine million meals featuring grass-fed beef raised without routine antibiotics and added hormones since March of 2014. 

The California program coordinates Hospital Leadership Teams in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego to leverage collective buying power, share innovative strategies, best practices, and product information and work together to make food a part of the “mission to heal.”

Initiatives

The California Program works to create and implement regional models of the national initiatives of the Healthy Food in Health Care Program, such as the Less Meat Better Meat: Balanced Menus Initiative which started in CA in 2009. Other regional initiatives include:

  • ProCureWorks - This innovative initiative between Health Care Without Harm and School Food Focus, with seed funding from Kaiser Permanente, affects change across the supply chain by leveraging the purchasing power of hospitals and schools throughout California to provide food that supports human and environmental health. ProCureWorks is a powerhouse of aggregated procurement and a commanding advocacy voice to increase sustainable institutional procurement, build a healthier food system, and to support local, sustainable production in the changing landscape of California agriculture.
  • Farm Fresh Healthcare Project - San Francisco Bay Area hospitals are aggregating their demand to buy local, sustainably-grown produce from family farmers. The Farm Fresh Healthcare Project is co-coordinated by Health Care Without Harm and Community Alliance with Family Farmers. The project supports small and mid-size family farmers, and organic and integrated pest management agricultural techniques to reduce pesticide use, retrofits the existing supply chain to become shorter and more transparent, supplies hospitals with minimally-processed fresh-cut as well as whole produce, and builds ongoing relationships between hospital partners.
  • Hospital Leadership Teams - The California HFHC Program coordinates Leadership Teams in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego to develop innovative strategies, share successes, and leverage hospitals’ collective purchasing power to move the marketplace.  A newly forming Team in Sacramento is in development. The Leadership Teams: 
    • Leverage collective buying power to move the marketplace and to improve access to cost-effective, healthful, sustainably-produced foods
    • Share innovative strategies, best practices, and product information
    • Work together to make food a part of the healing process and to make healthful, sustainable food and beverages the standard
    • Educate patients and their families, employees, physicians, and the community
    • Support evaluation and tracking of food and beverage practices across healthcare systems
  • Anchors for Resilient Communities (ARC) - Anchors for Resilient Communities (ARC) is a multi-sector community-based partnership, comprised of representatives from key anchor institutions in the health and education sectors, non-profit organizations, lenders, foundations, community leaders, and cities and counties in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. The partnership is being co-coordinated by Health Care Without Harm and the Emerald Cities Collaborative, a national nonprofit with a focus on creating sustainable, just and inclusive, local economies. Anchors for Resilient Communities's mission is to address the social (both economic and environmental) determinants of health by leveraging the assets and capacities of Bay Area anchor institutions, with a focus on expanding jobs, improving health outcomes, and strengthening the capacity of low and moderate-income communities to be resilient in the face of climate disruption and shifting demographics/economies.

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