Sustainability Series: Healthy Food Systems

At Fairview Health Services, we strive to create a healthy food system within our facilities so we may provide an exceptional patient, family and staff experience, show our commitment to community and environmental health and serve as a role model to other health care organizations.

We also recognize the connection between healthy food and a healthy community and environment. Here are a few ways we help promote a healthy food system in our facilities.

Managing Food Waste

We ensure that we responsibly manage all food waste at our facilities. Here are a couple of ways we dispose of food waste to keep our environment and community healthy:

Composting – Since 2011, we’ve composted over 379 tons of food waste. We collect food scraps, such as fruit peels, eggshells, vegetable cores and coffee grinds, for composting. When food scraps are combined with oxygen, water and yard waste, bacteria break the materials down to create a nutrient rich top soil full of regenerating nutrients, reducing the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides

Food to Hogs – Since 2011, we’ve collected 151 tons of food scraps for the Food to Hogs Program. We collect food scraps (excluding meat, animal products or coffee grinds) and send it to a local farm where the food is cooked and fed to hogs. This program provides economical benefits for farmers and keeps food waste out of a landfill.

Partnering with Local Farmers

Locally grown food is critical in keeping a community healthy. Each year, we partner with local farmers to entourage members of our staff and community to eat fresh food as often as possible. Below are a few ways we work with local farmers to promote locally grown food.

Farm to Fairview Farmer’s Markets – During the summer growing season we host multiple farmers markets at different locations. These markets give our staff an opportunity to learn about how their food was grown while supporting the local community and healthy food choices.

Community Gardens – We opened our first community gardens where small plots of land are cultivated by local community members and staff. Our goal is to increase local food production, foster physical and emotional wellness and to improve fruit and vegetable consumption in the community.

Community Supported Agriculture Drop-Sites (CSAs) – We support local farmers who bring fresh and local produce directly to our employees through CSA drop-sites at our facilities. A weekly drop-off makes it convenient for our staff to have fresh produce on their dinner tables throughout the summer growing season.

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