Packard Children’s Wins National Award for Connecting Food, Climate and Health

Award Honors Health Care Food Services That Reduce Climate Footprint

For Release: April 24, 2013

Palo Alto, Calif. - Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been honored with the “Food, Climate, Health Connection Award” from the Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) program. The award is one of four Sustainable Food Awards given this year to recognize significant achievement as well as leadership in health care food service.

The Food, Climate, Health Connection Award recognizes facilities which are taking significant steps toward reducing their climate footprint. By serving foods that are produced and distributed in ways that reduce resource and energy consumption as well as taking other operational steps, health care food service operations can play an influential role in decreasing the food system impacts on climate change. Applicants are awarded points based on levels of achievement in the following areas: reduction of the amount of meat and poultry purchased; prioritizing purchase of food and beverages that are produced without use of fossil-fuel based fertilizers and pesticides; waste prevention, donation and composting; and energy and water conservation.

“It is increasingly important that the world recognize the link between our food system, climate change and human health, and take steps to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Gary Cohen, president and founder, Health Care Without Harm. “Packard Children’s has demonstrated an overall excellence in understanding this connection, and is engaging their hospitals food service department as part of the solution.”

The hospital was recognized for the following activities:

  • The Balanced Menus Challenge, offering at least one protein-balanced vegetarian or vegan menu option at each meal for patient and cafeteria food, and the cafeteria menu was meat-free one day per week throughout the year.
  • Prioritization of the purchase of food and beverages that are produced without use of fossil-fuel based fertilizers and pesticides through written procurement and/or policies, while also including purchasing preference language in contracts, RFPs and RFIs.
  • Under the facility’s energy and water conservation practices, equipment purchasing policies at the hospital:
  • Prioritized “total cost of ownership” and “energy/water efficiency” instead of lowest initial purchase price
  • Supported the purchase of Energy Star and/or WaterSense rated commercial foodservice - equipment
  • Replaced all pre-rinse spray valves with low-flow alternatives
  • Implemented demand-control ventilation systems
  • Trained staff to turn appliances off when not in use
  • Purchased energy-efficient light bulbs for cafeteria and non-public cafeteria areas.

“On behalf of everyone at Packard Children’s Hospital, we are thrilled to receive this recognition from Health Care Without Harm and the Healthy Food in Health Care program,” said Thomas Robinson, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Healthy Weight. “It’s an award that acknowledges years of effort, innovation and achievements by our Healthy Hospital team along with the tremendous support of our Hospital leaders and all of the staff at Packard Children's. Together, we are proud to commit our hospital to promote healthy nutrition for our patients, our staff, our community and our planet, and we look forward to even more success in the future.”

The Food, Climate, and Health Connection Award is being presented at CleanMed 2013, April 24-26 in Boston, MA.


Robert Dicks

About Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of more than 430 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the health care industry worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. HCWH’s Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) Program works with hospitals across the country to help improve the sustainability of their food services. 

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at