Fifty-six 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, through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During the 2023 Annual Recognition Meeting, 56 hospitals across 26 counties in 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:
- Address nutrition security and equity through community based collaborations
- 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, high-sodium, and high-sugar foods
- Reduce or eliminate high-sugar beverages and limit artificially sweetened beverages
- Increase plant-based options and whole grain foods
The initiative's 2023 report provides more information about the program and highlights the hard work of Pennsylvania's participating hospitals.