Health Care Without Harm has been surveying their network of facilities since 2009. In 2020 the effort was expanded to include the full population health care facilities throughout New England. This new iteration of the Healthy Food in Health Care Survey focused on hospitals' foodservice operations response to COVID-19 and contributions as anchor institutions in their communities. To supplement the survey results, three in-depth case studies demonstrate various experiences throughout the pandemic and highlight the motivations and ways these facilities successfully navigated the incredible strain put on the health care system while still being an essential community resource. The finding suggests that health care facilities played an important role in supporting their communities beyond procurement by establishing new initiatives that promoted food access and local producers. Based on the survey and case-study findings, recommendations and key takeaways for stakeholders hoping to increase their engagement as an anchor institution were developed. These recommendations highlight the resources used to support food access initiatives throughout COVID-19 and further develop relationships with local producers.
Cunningham, Naomi M.; Conner, David; Kaskey, Lauren; Leighton, Hannah; and Allison, Peter, "Anchoring Communities Throughout COVID-19: Results from the 2020 Healthy Food in Health Care Survey in New England." (2021). College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Publications. 188.