With the help of the KVCC Food Hub, we’re able to source nearly half the food we serve locally!
For years, our food service department has been partnering with local farmers to source a large portion of the food served in the hospital. We do this because we know that food is a key contributor to overall health. When we know where the food we serve is coming from, we can feel confident knowing our patients, visitors and employees are getting the best possible options. Plus, it ties in to our values of building trusting relationships and supporting local business.
Around three years ago, we partnered with Kalamazoo Valley Community College in an effort to improve supply and distribution of local produce. The new KVCC Food Innovation Center, part of the Bronson Healthy Living Campus, is the product of this partnership. The Food Innovation Center serves as a catalyst for the local farming system. They have formed partnerships with local farmers to source and grow large quantities of food, then sell it to large institutions – like Bronson. It is amazing for Bronson’s food service department, because it completely streamlines our process for getting fresh, local food. Now, we can make one simple order through the Food Innovation Center and know that all the food we get will be from local farmers. It’s also great for the farmers, because they have a consistent revenue stream and are able to know what foods to grow more or less of.
Working with the Food Innovation Center is so convenient. They are able to wash, cut and package the produce we purchase, so it is ready to go when it’s delivered to us. For example, instead of just ordering 100 lbs. of potatoes, which we will have to spend the time and manpower washing, dicing and storing, they deliver them to us in a way that we can use right away or store for several months to enjoy when these foods are out of season. It’s just like we purchased from a nation-wide food wholesaler – only we know exactly where the food came from and are helping support local farmers.
We are so proud to have this partnership with KVCC. It has allowed Bronson to have a profound and positive impact on the overall health of our community. It is truly amazing that we are able to source very close to half of the food we serve at Bronson Methodist Hospital from farmers and producers within 60 miles of Kalamazoo!