Healthy Food in Health Care

The Healthy Food in Health Care initiative in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region is part of a national and international campaign by Health Care Without Harm to support hospitals and other health care facilities in providing healthier, local and sustainably produced foods to patients, employees, visitors and surrounding community members.  This campaign also supports health care facilities in implementing environmentally sustainable initiatives in hospital food service

Healthy Food Pledge
23 hospitals and nursing homes in Maryland, 1 hospital in Washington, DC and 6 hospitals in Northern Virginia have signed the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge to provide healthier foods and implement sustainable initiatives.  They join more than 500 hospitals throughout the country that have signed the Pledge.

Hospitals Buying Local Foods  –  The Buy Local Challenge
Over the past five years, a growing number of
hospitals and nursing homes have responded enthusiastically to MD H2E’s call to participate in the Buy Local Challenge. In July 2014, 59 hospitals and nursing homes in Maryland, District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania participated by serving at least one local food in their menu each day for a week from July 19-27.  In 2013, 56 participating health care facilities spent over $53,500 on local foods during Buy Local Week by either buying through their distributor or directly from local farmers. These health care facilities served local foods in their cafeterias and patient menus, engaged over 1300 employees and community members in taking the pledge to eat local, and hosted educational events and cooking demonstrations centered on the benefits of eating local, sustainable foods during the week-long observance.

As a result of this campaign, over 40 health care facilities now regularly purchase local foods.

Reduced Meat & Local Sustainable Meat and Poultry Purchasing
11 hospitals in Maryland and 1 in Washington, DC are among the early adopters taking the Balanced Menus Challenge to reduce their meat purchasing by 20%, and use the cost-savings to purchase more sustainably produced beef, pork and poultry, ideally from local farmers.

Now 12 hospitals and nursing homes in Maryland and Washington, DC are purchasing sustainable meat and/or poultry produced without routine antibiotics for their cafeteria and/or patient menus, and 11 of these hospitals’ purchases are from local farmers, purchased either direct from the farmer or through their distributor.

Nursing and Sustainable Food in Healthcare
Nurses have launched farmers’ markets at their hospitals in Maryland and as sustainability managers and Green Team leaders, they are working on other initiatives with their food service departments to provide increased access to healthier local and sustainably produced foods.

In this video: Nurses and Sustainable Food in Healthcare, nurses explain their work to increase access to healthier foods at their hospitals in Maryland.  Special thanks to Casey Starshine, MS, RN for filming and editing this video with support from MD H2E, ANHE, and University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Farmers’ Markets & Farm Stands at Hospitals & Nursing Homes in Maryland

  • Anne Arundel Medical Center
  • Calvert Memorial Hospital
  • Civista Medical Center
  • Doctors Community Hospital
  • FutureCare Canton
  • Holy Cross Hospital
  • Howard County General Hospital
  • Jenkins Senior Living Community
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
  • MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
  • Meritus Medical Center
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
  • University of Maryland Medical Center
  • Western Maryland Regional Medical Center

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) at Hospitals in Maryland

  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
  • Suburban Hospital
  • University of Maryland Medical Center

Gardens at Hospitals & Nursing Homes in Maryland

Vegetable Gardens:

  • Copper Ridge / Fairhaven
  • Fayette Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • FutureCare Cherrywood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
  • Genesis Hammonds Lane Center
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore – LifeBridge Health

Herb Garden or Educational Garden:

  • Baltimore Washington Medical Center
  • Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
  • Union Hospital of Cecil County
  • University of Maryland Medical Center

Healthy Beverage Initiatives at Hospitals

  • Carroll Hospital Center
  • Chester River Hospital
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
    • Howard County General Hospital
    • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
    • Johns Hopkins Hospital
    • Sibley Memorial Hospital (Washington, DC)
    • Suburban Hospital
  • Union Hospital of Cecil County
  • University of Maryland Medical Center

Chesapeake Food Leadership Council
The Chesapeake Food Leadership Council is a network of food service professionals from hospitals and other institutions and other regional stakeholders in Maryland and the Chesapeake region that meets quarterly to address strategies for increasing local sustainable food purchasing at hospitals and other institutions. To participate, contact Gina Navarro:  410-706-2352,


Click the photos below to enlarge.

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