South County Hospital wins local food challenge

Published 12/12/2016

South County Hospital, rated number one for patient safety, now has another number one to celebrate. Recently, the South County Health food services staff earned the top award in the Rhode Island Health Care Local Food Challenge for thinking global, acting local. They outperformed their Rhode Island competitors in local food purchasing, education, and employee engagement.

Health Care Without Harm, a non-profit organization that works toward reducing healthcare’s environmental footprint globally, offered the challenge to hospitals throughout Rhode Island, with five hospitals - Bradley Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, and Roger Williams Medical Center - participating.

South County Hospital Food Services staff members Meghan Keenan and Chef Kevin Herold
serve up one of the healthy lunch offerings made from locally sourced food.

The Local Food Challenge began in May 2015 and concluded in September 2016 with a Seafood Throwdown at the Rhode Island Seafood Festival in Providence.  Participants competed throughout the year in the areas of purchasing, education, and employee engagement around local foods. The efforts benefit those who dine at South County Hospital, as well as local farmers and fishermen.“At South County Hospital we make every effort to provide a comfortable and healing environment for our patients, staff, and visitors. The food we serve is a big part of that,” said Meghan Keenan, Director of Food and Nutrition.  “We also recognize our role in the community to support our local economy and our local food producers. A strong local food economy means a healthier community overall."

The food services staff at South County Hospital cooks and serves approximately 500 meals each day. Each Tuesday, known as Super Senior Tuesday, the Hospital cafeteria welcomes the senior population from the community to stop in for an inexpensive, delicious and healthy meal.