Perceptions of Local Hospitals and Food Producers on Opportunities for and Barriers to Implementing Farm-to-Hospital Programs

Authors

  • Allie Perline University of Montana
  • Annie Heuscher Community Food & Agriculture Coalition
  • Annie Sondag University of Montana
  • Blakely Brown University of Montana

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.061.015

Keywords:

Farm-to-Hospital, Local Food Systems, Qualitative Research, Farm-to-Institution, Hospital Food Service

Abstract

The 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.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Allie Perline, University of Montana

Department of Health & Human Performance, University of Montana; 32 Campus Drive; Missoula, Montana 59812 USA.

Annie Heuscher, Community Food & Agriculture Coalition

Community Food & Agriculture Coalition; P.O. Box 7025; Missoula, Montana 59807 USA.

Annie Sondag, University of Montana

Department of Health & Human Performance, University of Montana; 32 Campus Drive; Missoula, Montana 59812 USA.

Blakely Brown, University of Montana

Department of Health & Human Performance, University of Montana; 32 Campus Drive; Missoula, Montana 59812 USA.

Published

2015-12-17

How to Cite

Perline, A., Heuscher, A., Sondag, A., & Brown, B. (2015). Perceptions of Local Hospitals and Food Producers on Opportunities for and Barriers to Implementing Farm-to-Hospital Programs. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 6(1), 147–160. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.061.015

Issue

Section

Open Call Papers