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Health Care Without Harm releases "Why Buy Local?" resource for institutions.

Local food has become a priority for individuals and institutions across the country. From 2006 to 2014 the number of farmers markets increased by 180 percent, sales to food hubs (local food aggregators) increased by 288 percent, and farm-to-school programs increased by 430 percent. Local food sales in the United States were estimated to be $8.7 billion in 2015.

In 2017, Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth found that 82 percent of health care survey respondents spent, on average, 15 percent of their budgets on local foods, using a variety of supply chain pathways.

This is consistent with findings from Becker’s Hospital Review which states, “While some [hospitals] are even setting up gardens to grow their own produce, others are buying locally grown products because they tend to be fresher, more nutritious, and boost the local economy.” 

Health care facilities have an opportunity to amplify their healing mission and leverage multiple benefits when choosing to buy local and regional food.