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Swedish Hospital in Chicago overhauled and unveiled a community garden located just across the street from the hospital’s campus, planting a variety of produce to help employees and neighbors eat healthier.

5 things: Hospital’s garden helps to reduce staff food insecurity

This and schools sending food waste to feed pigs while saving money are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

 1.    Hospital’s garden helps to reduce staff food insecurity

Swedish Hospital in Chicago overhauled and unveiled a community garden located just across the street from the hospital’s campus, planting a variety of produce to help employees and neighbors eat healthier. Employees got the idea for redoing the garden after a survey last year asked workers about their access to food and 35% of respondents said they experienced food insecurity at some point over the past year. “We know that food insecurity among hospital employees is pretty high because it’s an industry where there’s all different levels of working from hourly low-wage jobs to specialized salaried positions,” said AK Kritt, the hospital’s community nutrition coordinator. “A hospital is kind of a microcosm of different levels of working and salaries, so the needs vary greatly for people who are working here.”

Read more: Swedish Hospital Launches Community Garden To Grow Fresh Produce For Employees And Neighbors

 2.    Farm hogs food waste from schools, hospitals, etc.

Barthold Farms in St. Francis, Minn. collects leftover food from more than 220 schools, hospitals, grocery stores and prisons that it then serves to over 2,000 pigs. The Food to Hog program, now in all of Mounds View Public Schools' elementary and middle schools, saves the district money because while Barthold charges a fee to pick up the food waste, that fee is not subject to the 70% combined state and county tax that the school district pays on garbage hauling and disposal services, so its trash costs decrease about 8% when food and beverage are kept out of the garbage stream. Barthold's trucks pick up about 150 to 200 cans of food a day, with a full bin weighing almost 200 pounds, which means the farm processes up to 40,000 pounds of pig food daily.

Read more: From the cafeteria to the pig pen: One farm recycles school lunch leftovers to feed its animals

 3.    New office campus restaurant specializes in Cal-Spanish fare

Chico Marx, a new restaurant offering Spanish-Californian fare with flavors from the Latin American diaspora, has recently opened in 2 Tower Place, part of the Genesis South San Francisco office campus used for life sciences and biotech space. The restaurant, managed by Bon Appétit Management Co., serves entrees such as Bolinas black cod, a Spanish griddled chickpea pancake, pollo al ajillo—chicken with asparagus, garlic, a pimento cream sauce and saffron rice—and tempranillo-braised short ribs.

Read more: Chico Marx brings Spanish-Californian fare to South San Francisco

 4.    NFL rookies learn to cook from college dining staff

Cleveland Browns rookies have been hard at work since arriving in Berea, Ohio for their minicamp earlier this month, learning the ins and outs of the NFL—but their most recent lesson came off the field and in the kitchen as the organization partnered with Baldwin Wallace (BW) University for a "Rooks to Cooks" course at BW's Center for Innovation and Growth, where they were led in a cooking course by the university's dining services staff. "Eating healthy. Being able to cook for themselves outside of the Browns facility, I think those are all really important things," said Matt Regula, BW's assistant director of dining.

Read more: Rooks to Cooks: Browns rookies learn cooking skills from Baldwin Wallace in transition to life after college

 5.    Hospital thanks first responders with free food

Covenant Health in Lubbock, Texas is giving local first responders the opportunity to get free food during National EMS Week May 21-27, offering free breakfast burritos from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Covenant Medical Center on May 22 and free sausage wraps for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 24, at Covenant Children's. First responders include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and law enforcement agents and currently there are more than 1,400 in and around Lubbock County.

Read more: Covenant Health Will Honor First Responders With Two Free Meals

Bonus: Health and wellness focus driving plant-based trend

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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