More Ontario Food for Patients, Toronto $55,000
St. Michael’s Hospital’s revamp of their local food offerings to patients, staff, and visitors demonstrates that buying fresh local products is both financially and logistically realistic for large institutions. Twelve locally infused recipes were added to patient menus and many produce items were switched to fresh Ontario fruits and vegetables. The kitchen at St. Michael’s, though outsourced, was on board with the changes and introduced 56 seasonally focused recipes, a salad bar with Ontario produce, and daily baking featuring local ingredients. St. Michael’s implemented a tracking system to easily identify local food, noting that 50 percent of the newly introduced Ontario products were less expensive than the previously purchased imported items. At the time of this project, Ontario purchases represented 16 percent of St. Michael’s total spend and a procurement program was implemented to increase this number.