Pennsylvania Hospitals: Leading Communities to Better Nutrition
Hospitals in Pennsylvania are serving as leaders in their communities by providing healthy, balanced, and locally sourced meals to their patients, visitors, staff, and other community members. This exciting initiative, Good Food, Healthy Hospitals, is administered by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and is aimed at improving the health of communities through better nutrition.
The initiative is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), through the State Physical Activity and Nutrition grant and Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The initiative began in Philadelphia through PDPH and, through HAP’s leadership, has expanded to other regions of the state.
During the 2021 Annual Recognition Meeting, 37 hospitals across Pennsylvania were recognized for their participation in the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program. Hospitals in the initiative pledge to adopt food, beverage, and procurement standards in all areas where food is purchased, served, or sold. The focus on hospital nutrition serves as a model for other community institutions and employers to explore.
Creating Innovative Solutions to Ensure Good Nutrition
Strategies include purchasing, positioning, pricing, and promotion of healthier choices in patient meals, cafeteria and catering services, and vending. Participants are also adopting innovative solutions to:
- Emphasize locally grown produce through hospital food service operations and integrate local produce into health care
- Expand options for fresh and healthy food choices
- Reduce or eliminate high-fat and high-sugar foods
- Provide education about the relationship between food, our food system, and our health and well-being
The initiative's 2021 report provides more information about the program and highlights the hard work of Pennsylvania's participating hospitals.