Local and Sustainable Food Procurement
MaineHealth hospitals are committed to purchasing and serving locally-grown, seasonal fruits, vegetables, seafood and more. Our organizations work with distributors and local farmers to access a wide variety of fruits and vegetables without added salt or sugar and serve them to employees, patients and community members on a daily basis.
Between October 2016 and September 2019 our hospitals:
- Increased total dollars spent on fresh, healthy local produce by 38%
- Exceeded their overall spend goal in FY19 by 11%
- Purchased approximately 81,400 pounds of fresh, healthy local produce in FY19 – a 50% increase over FY17
- Purchased local fruits and vegetables from seven distributors and 21 local farms
Nourished by New England
Hospitals across the MaineHealth system are now participating in Nourished by New England, a program launched by the national organization Health Care Without Harm that highlights local, seasonal foods and draws the connection between local food and health. Participating network hospitals include Franklin Memorial Hospital, LincolnHealth, Maine Medical Center, MaineGeneral, Memorial Hospital, Mid Coast Hospital, Pen Bay Medical Center, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Southern Maine Health Care, Spring Harbor Hospital and Waldo County General Hospital.
Nourished by New England makes it easy for MaineHealth to support our regional food system and local producers. Our hospitals feature locally grown, raised, and harvested foods and introduce employees, patients and visitors to the farmers and food businesses who bring them to our tables. Each hospital has pledged to serve a featured seasonal food twice per month. Each season, four locally produced foods are featured in our cafeterias, including three fruits/vegetables and one seafood item.
This program is a great complement to the work we already do to serve healthy fresh foods to our patients and community while supporting regional farmers and fishermen. It will also increase opportunities for our hospitals to access freshly picked fruits and vegetables, teach about eating seasonally, and support our regional economy.
Look for the Nourished by New England logo to find the local foods offered each season. Our patients, visitors, and staff will be enjoying the freshest produce and seafood, while our investment in local food strengthens our economy. To learn more, visit noharm-uscanada.org/NourishedByNewEngland.