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Hospitals are continually challenged to look at new and innovative ways to make foods appealing and tasty for their patients, employees, and the public. Farm-to-cafeteria programs offer a strategy to provide fresh fruit, vegetables, and other local products while strengthening connections in the community. Peter Roberge, the new chef at Skagit Valley Hospital, is building relationships with local farms to procure and incorporate more locally grown produce into the hospital's menus. He hopes to custom order items from farmers year-round to fit the cafeteria’s use patterns. In addition to increasing procurement from local producers, Roberge and the food service department staff have been working to improve the hospital's menus with more than 200 new recipes and more made-from-scratch cooking techniques. A room service program that will allow patients to order and have customized meals delivered to their rooms is also planned for launch in late summer.
The hospital's farm-to-cafeteria program is being developed with the support of Skagit Healthy Communities to ensure that members of the hospital and community have convenient access to fresh, healthful foods. The food service department's efforts complement SVH's successful Wednesday farmers' market and community supported agriculture (CSA) program also created through the Healthy Communities partnership.
Skagit Valley Hospital, Skagit Healthy Communities, Thomas Cuisine Management, Northwest Agriculture Business Center
The food service department is evaluating customer satisfaction through sales data (plates/day, total sales) and customer feedback. Weekday sales have increased 50 percent since the menu revisions began in January 2010.
Featured: Spring 2010 | Go to the Newsletter
Hospital employees, patients and visitors
Skagit Valley Hospital