Hospital Food Goes Local

Tidings | Apr 20, 2020

Kyle Foley, our sustainable seafood program manager, stands in a blue and black dress next to the right of to two men as they pose for a photo in celebration of the hospital shifting to all local seafood. The man in the middle holds a certificate acknowledging the achievement.

In modern healthcare institutions, fresh and nutritious food is an important part of the patient healing experience. 

One such institution has become our first Champion-level hospital in our Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® program, which promotes local, well-managed fish. Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) now serves 100% Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® white fish (e.g., pollock, haddock).

CMMC participates in foodservice operator Sodexo’s commitment to serving 100% Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® white fish in all Maine dining facilities by 2020. Patrick Hodsdon (pictured at right), executive chef for Sodexo at CMMC, has shifted from buying imported species such as tilapia, to purchasing Atlantic pollock and Acadian redfish from the Gulf of Maine.

“We’re always looking for healthy protein options,” said Hodsdon. “When I learned about the opportunity to buy fresh fish locally, it was a no-brainer.”

In 2015, almost none of the white fish served in Maine’s 12 Sodexo-managed campuses was sourced from the Gulf of Maine. Today, 71% of the white fish they serve meets our responsible harvest criteria. This commitment has provided vital support to our region’s coastal communities, while also providing healthy, local options at institutions like CMMC.