Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge (Tool)

You can encourage your Health Care institution to sign the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge below, which is a framework by Health Care Without Harm US & Canada that outlines steps to improve the health of patients, communities, and the environment.

In addition to encouraging your Health Care systems to sign, implement, and report on this pledge, you could adapt this pledge to other situations – schools, churches, or other groups or institutions you are working with to signal to the marketplace about their interest in local, nutritious, sustainable food. Share back with us if you do this, and we will encourage others to sign!

The pledge

As a responsible provider of health care services, we are committed to the health of our patients, our staff and the local and global community. We are aware that food production and distribution methods can have adverse impacts on public environmental health. As a result, we recognize that for the consumers who eat it, the workers who produce it and the ecosystems that sustain us, healthy food must be defined not only by nutritional quality, but equally by a food system that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and supportive of human dignity and justice. We are committed to the goal of providing local, nutritious and sustainable food. This Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge is a framework that outlines steps to be taken by the health care industry to improve the health of patients, communities and the environment.

Specifically, we are committed to the following healthy food in health care measures for our institution.

We pledge to:

  • Work with local farmers, community-based organizations and food suppliers to increase the availability of locally-sourced food.
  • Encourage our vendors and/or food-management companies to supply us with food that is, among other attributes, produced without synthetic pesticides and hormones or antibiotics given to animals in the absence of diagnosed disease and which supports farmer health and welfare, and ecologically protective and restorative agriculture.
  • Increase our offering of fruit and vegetables, nutritionally-dense and minimally processed, unrefined foods and reduce unhealthy (trans and saturated) fats and sweetened foods.
  • Implement a stepwise program to identify and adopt sustainable food procurement. Begin where fewer barriers exist and immediate steps can be taken. For example, the adoption of rBGH free milk, fair trade coffee, or the introduction of organic fresh produce in the cafeteria.
  • Communicate to our Group Purchasing Organizations our interest in foods that are identified as local and/or third-party certified.
  • Educate and communicate within our system and to our patients and community about our nutritious, socially just and ecological sustainable food healthy food practices and procedures.
  • Minimize or beneficially reuse food waste and support the use of food packaging and products which are ecologically protective.
  • Develop a program to promote and source from producers and processors which uphold the dignity of family, farmers, workers and their communities and support sustainable and humane agriculture systems.
  • Report annually on the implementation of this pledge. 

View/download the resource

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