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feature local, seasonal foods...
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The Healthy Food in Health Care program launched its New England program in 2008. Since that time the New England network has grown to over 150 participating healthcare facilities.
The New England Healthy Food in Health Care Program works with these facilities to leverage their purchasing power toward the creation of a sustainable, regional food system. To meet this goal we focus activities around support for foods grown, raised or caught in New England and sustainable food production in New England and beyond.
In 2016, 76% of the 85 facilities that completed our annual survey, reported purchasing local food; and 37 facilities that reported their local food spend contributed over $8.6 million to the regional economy. Half of all survey respondents reported having a policy to support their procurement of local and/ or sustainable foods.
The work of the New England program and our hospital partners is supported by a dynamic network of state-based and regional organizations. We collaborate with a variety of organizations and agencies to enhance the support available to facilities and to leverage institutional purchasing power across sectors. Participation in Farm to Institution New England and coordination with colleges and K-12 schools further advances our collective impact.
The New England Region works to create and implement regional models of the national initiatives of the Healthy Food in Health Care Program along with the following regional initiatives:
- Nourished by New England - We're making it easy for health care to support our regional food system and local producers.
Over the next four seasons, we’ll feature locally grown, raised, and harvested foods and introduce you to the farmers and food businesses who bring them to our table.
Join health care facilities from across New England in supporting the New England food system and its local producers by pledging to serve a featured seasonal food twice per month.
- Hospital Leadership Teams in each of the six New England States bring together engaged hospitals to leverage collective buying power, share innovative strategies, best practices, and product information, and learn about key issues. In addition to these procurement-focused groups, we convene a Community Food Outreach Team which brings together community benefit officers, affordable care organization managers, and community outreach specialists to increase the use of federal community benefit funds and other identified monies available to hospitals to increase access to healthy, locally-sourced, and sustainably-produced foods for their community.
- The Farm to Institution Summit is a bi-annual regional, cross-sector convening, planned and implemented in close collaboration with Farm to Institution New England. The health care forum brings together members of the supply chain, advocacy organizations, and healthcare leaders to discuss ways to improve access to local and sustainable foods.
- The New England Healthy Food in Health Care Ambassador Program utilizes the perspective and experience of healthcare representatives to propel existing efforts in New England and take them to the next level by rewarding and cultivating health care leaders and creating opportunities for peer learning. Meet the 2016 Ambassadors and learn about their projects.
- Annual Survey and Report - Benchmarking and tracking is an important component of our work that allows us to gage the progress of the health care sector on food systems work, identify topics of interest and areas where we can provide additional support, and celebrate the success of the facilities we work with. Each year we use the data from the survey to compile a report that highlights the innovative work of our health care partners.
- Join a state health care leadership team or supply chain task force:
- Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine workgroups
- Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Greater Massachusetts workgroups
- Boston workgroup
- Premier Task Force
- Veterans Administration VISN 1 Task Force
- Sodexo Task Force
- Join a state or regional Google Group to receive our quarterly regional newsletter and updates on health care food system action.
- Sign the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge
- Join our national mailing list
- The New England Healthy Food in Health Care Report 2014 outlines the activities that New England healthcare systems, hospitals, and clinicians are currently engaged in through the Healthy Food in Health Care Program.
- The New England Menu of Change Report - A 2015 New England Program report with highlights and survey.
- The Utilization of Community Benefits to improve Healthy Food Access in Massachusetts is a review of hospital efforts across Massachusetts to improve healthy food access through community benefit initiatives.
- Setting the Table for Success: A Toolkit for Increasing Local Food Purchasing by Institutional Food Service Management, developed as part of Farm to Institution New England’s Food Service Project to assist institutions in utilizing the request for proposal (RFP) and contract negotiation processes to increase purchases of local foods.
- The Farm to Hospital Questionnaire can be used to facilitate business relationships with farmers and producers and better understand one another’s needs.
- Healthy Food in Health Care state work group Project Overviews: (updated annually)
Partners & Supporters
- Farm to Institution New England
- Food Solutions New England
- Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
- Maine Farm to Institution Network
- Healthy Eating Active Living, New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
- New Hampshire Hospital Association
- Vermont Farm to Plate
- Farm Fresh Rhode Island
- Rhode Island Food Policy Council
- Hospital Association of Rhode Island
- Boston Public Health Commission
- Massachusetts Hospital Association
- Connecticut Food Systems Alliance