At Pen Bay Medical Center, Food Service Director Jeffrey Space has created a unique program that benefits the health of employees, patients, and community members alike. In the winter, Jeff purchases a large community supported agriculture share from a local Knox-county farm. This share allows Jeff to pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, he receives weekly shares of vegetables fresh from the farm. In the summer and fall, Jeff uses lots of local veggies in the food prepared by hospital cafeteria staff, which is then given to patients staying in the hospital, employees or visitors purchasing food from the cafeteria, or one of the many events on campus that are catered by the café. In addition, Jeff gives Pen Bay employees the opportunity to purchase their own “share” of produce on a weekly or monthly basis, which they pick up outside of the cafeteria. See the photo below from one of his recent deliveries!
Pen Bay is one of ten MaineHealth hospitals participating in the national “Hospital Healthy Food Initiative”, a program of the Partnership for a Healthier America. The hospitals are working to make healthy changes in their cafeterias and on their patient menus—from offering healthier meals with more fruits and vegetables to labeling all foods available with calorie information. For more information on this exciting initiative, visit the Hospital Healthy Food Initiative webpage.
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