From the time Santa Fe Medical Center (SFMC) opened its doors three years ago, improving access to healthy local food for patients, staff and community members through the purchase of local ingredients has been a top priority.
“Our philosophy is to show our commitment to the community where we live and work,” says Juana Lemus, SFMC Food Service Operations Manager. That means purchasing meat from local ranching partners, produce from local farmers and using eco-friendly packaging.
The café partners with New Mexico Lamb, Native American Beef (Mescalero Apache Tribe), Sweet Grass Coop Beef and Talus Wind Heritage Pork (Galisteo Basin Preserve), and Tamaya Blue (Pueblo of Santa Ana. Organic Valley Eggs (Southern Colorado), dry goods and fruits and vegetables are procured from La Montanita Co-op. Food is served using biogradable plates and bowls, reusable to-go boxes, recycled and biodegradable plastic cups and hot recycled coffee cups.
While COVID-19 has forced SFMC to temporarily close its café to the public, Juana hopes to jump-start the program soon. “Especially during this time, it is imperative that we support small, local businesses to help them survive the drastic losses,” she says.
SFMC’s emphasis on local procurement and sustainability reflects the broader efforts of Presbyterian Community Health, which partners with a variety of organizations to increase access to healthy, affordable food for residents of Santa Fe County.