SVHC Makes a Pledge for Healthy Food in Health Care

BENNINGTON – The Food and Nutrition Department at Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) last week signed a Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge. By signing, SVHC joins the other 227 U.S. facilities who have agreed to accept practices that will improve the health of patients and communities through nutrition while also protecting the surrounding environment.

The pledge is presented by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, and environmental organizations. It outlines practices a healthcare organization can undertake which consider the health of its patients as well as the health of the ecosystem.

Some of the steps to this process include: increasing the offering of fruits and vegetables within the organization, working with area farmers to increase the use of locally- produced food, and minimizing food and packaging waste by using products that are ecologically protective. 

“The pledge is a significant step towards helping the people in our community become healthier through good nutrition,” said Rachel Rodney, inpatient dietitian at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. “And it encourages greater sensitivity towards the environment. Together, these two things can have such a positive impact.”

HCWH states on their website: “By supporting the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge facilities are demonstrating leadership by sending an important signal to the marketplace and policy makers about their interest in local, nutritious, sustainable food and importantly, beginning to model healthy food practices…”

To learn more about the Healthy Food in Health Care pledge, visit HCWH’s website.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a community-based, not-for-profit health system that exists solely for the benefit of its community. SVHC has a vision to make the communities it serves the healthiest in the nation.

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