NYC Health + Hospitals will offer plant-based meals as the primary dinner option for inpatients at its 11 public hospitals. NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, Harlem, and South Brooklyn Health joined the system’s other acute care sites serving 14 new chef’s choice meals to hospitalized patients. NYC Health + Hospitals serves 3 million meals a year, and the system expects to serve about 850,000 plant-based meals in 2023. NYC Health + Hospitals plans to expand the plant-based menu options to its five post-acute care facilities in early 2023.
The plant-based lunch and dinner programs at NYC Health + Hospitals expand on the healthcare system’s successful Meatless Monday initiative launched in 2019 resulted in a 95 percent satisfaction rate among eligible patients.
NYC Health + Hospitals’ 140 food service associates meet with patients to educate them about the benefits of a plant-based diet and encourage them to choose the new meals as part of their healing and recovery plan of care. The same person records the patient’s meal selection on an iPad, delivers the tray to them and asks how they are enjoying the food, and they can replace the patient’s meal upon request. If necessary, they can connect patients with a registered dietician who can provide them with more information and counsel them about nutrition. The food service associate assists patients until they are discharged from the hospital.