Food service professionals


Hospital’s food and nutrition departments can help ensure healthy food access both within and outside their walls.

Expanding healthy food access

Many health care system staff — especially those working in food service, nutrition, and procurement departments — are pursuing activities to increase access to healthy foods.

At the same time, community benefit staff are undertaking community health activities to address health priorities such as food insecurity, diet-related diseases, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.

By working together, these groups can share expertise and resources to more effectively — and simultaneously — address nutrition and health goals.

By collaborating with other departments strategies hospitals can:

  • Increase local and sustainable procurement.
  • Develop a comprehensive healthy and sustainable food service policy.
  • Invest in community-driven strategies that address healthy eating.

There are numerous ways that your food service department can collaborate with community benefit to provide support for healthy food access programs:

  • The nutrition expertise in food service can be harnessed to enhance the plans, programs, and impact of community benefit interventions targeting food access and diet-related disease.
  • The knowledge of and connections with farmers and food businesses producing healthy sustainable food in the region can be leveraged in food access programs (farmers markets, mobile markets, community-supported agriculture).
  • Chefs, dietitians, and food service professionals can support nutrition education and cooking demonstrations connected to healthy food programs.
  • Physical space and storage can be provided for healthy food distribution programs.

Montefiore's community-focused efforts complement the hospital’s work, through its food service and clinical care initiatives. Guided farmers market walks, a produce incentive program, health education and diabetes prevention classes for patients, and a healthy corner store program are all ways Montefiore works to improve health in the Bronx community.   

Delivering community benefit

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