ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The farm-to-table movement now has a new iteration: farm to hospital.
Presbyterian Healthcare Services is seeking out business relationships with New Mexican farmers and ranchers, looking to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry products it can highlight in cafeterias, patient meals and catering.
“Hospitals are an exciting new market for farms,” said Vicki Pozzebon, of Prospera Partners, who announced Friday that her organization, the Hispanic-American Institute and Delicious New Mexico have entered into a contract to source locally grown and sustainably prepared food for some of the 3 million meals per year that Presbyterian serves.
The financial impact of the direct-sales relationship for the food producers has yet to be determined.
Presbyterian, the state’s largest hospital system and insurer, said the initiative is one way of keeping some of its purchasing dollars in the New Mexico market.
The Local and Sustainable Food Procurement Program is part of Presbyterian’s healthy eating priority, which is one aspect of a larger community health plan and aligns with the Healthy Food in Healthcare — a national initiative of Healthcare Without Harm.