Perceptions of Local Hospitals and Food Producers on Opportunities for and Barriers to Implementing Farm-to-Hospital Programs
Keywords:Farm-to-Hospital, Local Food Systems, Qualitative Research, Farm-to-Institution, Hospital Food Service
AbstractThe farm-to-table movement has significantly increased in the United States during the last decade. More locally sourced foods are being used in meal programs on a larger, institutional scale. Farm-to-hospital initiatives have been emerging as an effort to reestablish local, healthy diets into the health care model. As a result, barriers, opportunities, and capacity-building strategies specific to farm-to-hospital initiatives are being more closely explored. The purpose of this study is to investigate perceptions and attitudes of local food producers and hospital staff towards using locally sourced foods in hospital food service programs. To identify these perceptions, in-depth interviews were conducted with staff involved with food procurement and management at two Montana hospitals and with local food producers and distributors. Barriers for hospitals to use locally sourced foods included price, product availability, and quantity, while opportunities included positive relationships, product quality, and champion leaders of the local food system movement within the hospital setting. Furthermore, capacity-building strategies suggested by the interviews included development of cooperative distribution of local foods and formalized working-relationship contracts. Most significantly, collaborative dialogue was identified as a method to further support the extent of locally sourced foods being used in hospital food service programs.
How to Cite
The copyright to all content published in JAFSCD belongs to the author(s). It is licensed as CC BY 4.0. This license determines how you may reprint, copy, distribute, or otherwise share JAFSCD content.