Plow to Plate at New Milford Hospital
Created in response to astonishing upward trends in obesity and related diseases, Plow to Plate is a program that advocates healthy food as a direct path to disease prevention while promoting the local agricultural economy. Plow to Plate delivers a fully integrated, healthful food service program to patients, staff and the community, using fresh produce from local farms.
Plow to Plate was born from the work of New Milford Hospital executives, area physicians, farmers and town officials, in collaboration with the hospital’s dining services partner, Unidine Corporation. The hospital itself became a model of change by transforming its Dining Services, eliminating processed and fried foods, and training kitchen staff to cook from scratch and procure local produce when possible.
The Plow to Plate program is hosted at New Milford Hospital, 21 Elm Street, New Milford, CT.
Meals are served Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., and weekends and holidays from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
2015 Community Service Award
At its 97th Annual Meeting in June 2015, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) recognized New Milford Hospital, a member of the Western Connecticut Health Network, with a 2015 Connecticut’s Hospital Community Service Award. Sponsored by CHA and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut’s Hospital Community Service Award recognizes outstanding achievement in community service. New Milford Hospital is being recognized for its Plow to Plate program.
New Milford Hospital earned two national awards for its innovation and leadership in promoting wellness and prevention to help patients and community residents eat healthier foods. The first award, the 2009 Spirit of Planetree Award, recognizes the Hospital's patient-centered approach to providing care in the category of Nutritional and Nurturing Aspects of Food. The second award, the Glynwood "Good Food for Health" Harvest Award also recognizes the Hospital-led Plow to Plate coalition and Unidine Corporation, which have collaborated to set a standard in the sustainable food movement for Northwest Connecticut.
Glynwood, the not-for-profit organization whose mission is to save farming in the Northeast, created the Harvest Awards in order to highlight innovative work being done to increase access to fresh, locally-produced food and to recognize leaders across the country who support regional agricultural systems. New Milford Hospital earned a 2012 gold level Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovation Prize for its success at building and sustaining a healthy dining experience for its patients, employees and the community.
2012 Gold Level CQIA Innovation Prize
New Milford Hospital received the 2012 Gold Level CQIA Innovation Prize for its success at building and sustaining a healthy dining experience for its patients, employees and the community. The honor was presented at the Conference of the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership in June 2012. New Milford Hospital’s award recognizes its healthful culinary achievements following a six-year journey that has helped the community hospital achieve patient satisfaction scores among the nation’s best for overall meals and quality of food.
New Milford Hospital’s tower garden brings food to new heights
When the dining services director lost his garden space at New Milford Hospital, he discovered a new location right on the roof. Chef Kerry Gold, director of the hospital’s dining service and Plow to Plate program, installed six aeroponic tower gardens in May on the rooftop deck along the walkway to the new emergency department.
Two Connecticut Hospitals Put Fresh Food at Forefront of Wellness Initiatives
Fresh food is the best food, the best tasting and the best for you. With the advent of the slow food, farm-to-table, local and organic movements, the American food culture seems to have embraced this notion. Fresh, nutritious food prepared smartly is the key to a healthy lifestyle; any doctor, nutritionist or dietician will tell you that. It’s interesting, then, that the concept of hospital food—the one place centered on health—has such negative connotations.
New Milford Hospital believes food is medicine
It may be one of the smaller hospitals in the region, but for the past decade, New Milford Hospital, a member of the Western Connecticut Health Network, has taken a leadership position in community advocacy, especially with regard to the quality and sustainability of the food offered within its walls.
Not your grandfather's hospital food: Health systems make meals part of population health
Visitors to New Milford (Conn.) Hospital don't need to ask for directions to the hospital's newly renovated cafeteria because the healthy food eatery opens right into the main lobby. The lobby and cafeteria were relocated and redesigned when the 85-bed hospital completed renovation of its emergency department in late 2014. Hospital leaders set out to make the cafeteria a focal point of nutritional wellness for the entire community.