Boat to Hospital
Note: for up-to-date stories that highlight boat-to-institution check out our partners page at Farm to Institution New England.
Boat to Hospital began in 2010 when - in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care Program and Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association - we hosted a day long event for food service directors and executives in charge of food procurement in healthcare institutions throughout the Northeast. Those who came, including Diane Imrie of University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen Health Care) whose work has revolutionized their food service, learned about the entire seafood supply chain and strategies for shifting their purchasing power.
UVM became the early adopter of this work, leading the charge to shift the seafood they serve and serve as a model for other healthcare institutions in the region. A pilot program emerged focusing on the greater Boston facilities leading to a shift by major institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and community health care centers throughout the City of Boston. Today, healthcare facilities in every New England state have begun to make the shift and the region is serving as a model for other communities throughout the US and elsewhere.
Chef Akeisha Hayden of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center competing in a Seafood Throwdown at the Boston Local Food Festival. We engaged hospital chefs in many of our Seafood Throwdown events to highlight their role in shifting the seafood system.
In 2015, we worked with Health Care Without Harm to create criteria for hospitals’ seafood purchasing, a Health Care Purchasing Guide, and began a substantial conversation with hospitals interested in shifting their procurement dollars toward local seafood. In New Hampshire, work is already under way with seacoast hospitals.