Local Agriculture

Institutional Food with Taste

Hospital food: The very term conjures bland and unappetizing images. But that’s changing in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, population 65,000, where Sacred Heart, the smaller of the city’s two hospitals, is spending 10 percent of its food budget on local produce and meat. By industry standards, this does not amount to much—about $200,000 a year. But cracking the institutional market is one of the trickier challenges facing food system reformers, and this 344-bed hospital is showing the way.