Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Sustainable Food at Fletcher Allen
Fletcher Allen aims to have the most sustainable health care food service in the country. In 2006, we were one of the first organizations in the nation to sign Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge to improve the health of patients, customers and the community by providing fresh, local and sustainable food.
Our patients and visitors now enjoy nutritionally dense, minimally processed foods including a variety of locally produced fruits, vegetables and meats. Fried foods have been removed from our menus. Here are some key initiatives and projects that have been spurred by the Pledge:
Room Service at Fletcher Allen
Instead of delivering trays with the same meals at the same time regardless of patient preferences or schedules, Fletcher Allen allows patients to order what they want, when they want it. This significantly reduces food waste and improves the care experience for our patients and families. This service is winning "four star reviews" from patients, and has been recognized in the national media. See the room service menu at Fletcher Allen
Our main cafeteria for visitors and employees serves fresh, organic ingredients, locally-raised beef, a line of chicken and turkey raised without non-therapeutic antibiotics, and many vegetarian choices. Foods are cooked to order, resulting in less food waste. The cafe also features a “free cooling” refrigeration system that uses outdoor cold air during the winter to provide the chilling required. This energy-efficient “Freeaire” system is the first of its kind in any Vermont hospital.
Growing our Own
Over the past few years, patients and visitors have been enjoying food grown on- site by members of our nutrition services department. A healing garden provides fresh herbs and vegetables, and a rooftop garden on our new radiation oncology facility is adding to that bounty. In addition, one of our nutrition workers decided to become a beekeeper and last year we served 300 pounds of honey produced from hives on the grounds of one of our satellite locations.
Vermont Fresh Network
Fletcher Allen is a member of the Vermont Fresh Network, a non-profit organization which encourages farmers, food producers and chefs to build partnerships that contribute to stronger local communities and economies. Connections made through the Network have resulted in Fletcher Allen buying many local products such as maple syrup, cheese, rBST-free milk, grass-fed beef, and a variety of local organic vegetables - supporting our Food and Farm Partnerships and their products everyday. We're also working with agricultural leaders from around the state to build a food system in Vermont that will increase access to local foods.