Super Team

Local Food Provision in Ontario’s Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities: Recommendations for Stakeholders

This report is the third deliverable for Food for Health Project 200218 (“Exploring the Feasibility and Benefits of Incorporating Local Foods into Ontario’s Healthcare System”), a research study conducted in 2010-2012 with the support of the University of Guelph/Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Partnership Fund, My Sustainable Canada, the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, St. Mary’s Hospital (Kitchener), St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Guelph), and Aramark.

The five-member research team responsible for this project is:

    • Dr. Paulette Padanyi (University of Guelph)
    • Dr. Vinay Kanetkar (University of Guelph)
    • Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer (Wilfrid Laurier University).
    • Brendan Wylie-Toal (Research Manager, My Sustainable Canada)
    • Linda Varangu (Partnership Director, The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care)


The project objectives are to:

    1. Establish the current state of food provision in Ontario's healthcare system.
    2. Gain an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and constraints impacting food provision decisions in Ontario's healthcare system.
    3. Provide alternative perspectives on healthcare food provision and the potential for changing these practices.
    4. Understand implementation details for making changes at the individual facility level.


It is hoped that achievement of these outcomes will help create an institutional market for local foods that will increase both the number of local farmers growing foods for the Ontario healthcare system, and the amount and types of local foods they sell. As well, the use and endorsement of local foods by healthcare providers is expected to encourage chain store food retailers and the general public to stock and purchase local food, thereby increasing the current consumer market for local foods. Finally, it is expected that improved knowledge of the costs and processes associated with incorporating local foods into healthcare will encourage additional research and investigation into the use of local foods in other economic sectors, such as hospitality and tourism (e.g. restaurants, catering firms).