With healthcare costs on the rise, providers need to find ways to increase education and prevention. Providing healthy food and modeling healthy choices can help reduce the incidence of obesity and chronic disease.
The Food and Nutrition Services department of Livingston HealthCare implemented the Farm to Institution Program in 2007, and when their new state-of-the-art facility was built in 2015 they branded the cafeteria as Café Fresh and opened it to the public. The goal was to promote health and wellness among patients and staff, and model healthy choices for the community. The design of Café Fresh is unique in the hospital setting. The idea is that people eat with their eyes, therefore, the majority of the food choices are on display. Entrees, sides, soups, salad bar and parfait bar are all self-serve and sold by weight. There is also a grab-and-go cooler that displays homemade confections, pies, cakes, bars and cheesecake. Café Fresh also offers some convenience foods chosen with healthy ingredients in mind. Café Fresh is trying to lead by example, offering tasty choices without compromising nutrition or quality.
The opening of Café Fresh has resulted in increased revenue, more money spent within the community and the state, job creation, modeling positive eating habits, and expanded customer pallets for herbs, spices and a variety of ethnic foods.
Livingston HealthCare was the first hospital in Montana to sign on to the Western Sustainability Exchange’s Farm to Restaurant campaign. The success of this program has inspired the Livingston schools and other hospitals from across the state to begin down the same path.
ABOUT LIVINGSTON HEALTHCARE
Livingston HealthCare is a 25-bed critical access hospital with a rural health clinic attached.