Food in hospitals has been a hot button topic lately. Balancing patient care with a need to work within existing protocols and tight budgets makes feeding patients a challenge already, and when you add a local food component, even more so. Unless you’re a local food champion like Heather Fletcher, Manager of Food Services at St. Michael’s Hospital, and a team of dedicated foodservice professionals with the passion to make it happen. By engaging staff in all steps from procurement to plate, St. Michael’s has kept local food front-of-mind, and the initiative is an active part of their foodservice processes. Special events included onsite farmers’ markets, which gave staff and visitors the opportunity to learn, sample, and take fresh Ontario food home. At the end of the Challenge, the hospital had developed 10 new menu items, reported a high level of patient satisfaction, and increased their local purchases by 11 per cent over the year.
What they told us: “The project allowed us the opportunity to explore new ways to bring fresh local products to the hospital. I think the great turn out we had at the farmers’ market says it all.” - Heather Fletcher, Manager of Food Services, St. Michael’s Hospital