Frequently Asked Questions

In a nutshell, what does Fresh Advantage® do?
Fresh Advantage provides strategic guidance and technical assistance to institutions that wish to provide delicious, nutritious food to promote the wellness, satisfaction, and productivity of the individuals they serve. The Fresh Advantage team partners with clients to create a workable plan for operational and cultural change, including resources and support for “good food learning.”

Affordable Care ActFA has special expertise in the health care sector and the opportunities and responsibilities created by the IRS community benefit rule as revised by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. FA is ready to assist your organization to take advantage of the role that nutrition and food service can play in meeting the obligation to conduct community needs assessments and improvement plans to promote population health.

Who is behind Fresh Advantage®?
Fresh Advantage is a group of professionals with complementary expertise in health care services and research, food service operations, nutrition, health education, chef-culinarians, and food safety experts. FA’s project teams are hand-picked to complement clients’ resources and goals. FA’s founder, Marydale DeBor, JD, has over 25 years’ experience in health care and community-based organization development. She has created award-winning programs in institutional nutrition and food service programs and is a recognized leader and advocate for promoting the sustainability and strength of the U.S. food system. Read more about the Fresh Advantage® team on our About page.

Healthy eating = Healthy BodiesWhat does “Food is Primary Care®” mean?
Food is fundamental to human health: one of the best ways to take care of ourselves is through diet. Institutions with a food service operation can help people do that by making fresh, whole foods, well prepared and served with creativity, to promote nutrition and enjoyment as part of the organization’s culture.

What types of businesses does Fresh Advantage® serve?
Our specialty is small- to medium-sized organizations: community hospitals (independent or part of a larger health care system) and other specialty health care facilities, such as mental health centers with in-patient and out-patient services and rehabilitation centers. Similarly, we focus on small, independent schools and day care centers and senior living organizations with 125 or fewer residents.

When your organization works with FA, you promote the health and well-being of a broad range of people:

  • patients, employees, visitors, and the community at large of hospitals and other health care facilities
  • students, staff, and parents of schools and day care centers
  • residents, visitors, and staff of senior living residences
  • employees and their families
  • business visitors and guests

Where does Fresh Advantage® work?
Fresh Advantage® currently works in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. with a few select projects in other areas of the country.

What are the primary benefits of employing Fresh Advantage®?

Bringing delicious and nutritious to the dining table.

Bringing delicious and nutritious to the dining table.

The greatest benefit of working with Fresh Advantage is placing great-tasting, healthful food as the central food service principle of any organization that feeds people. Other benefits flow from that primary institutional change. When an organization incorporates nutritious food into its life and culture, it shows that it values the health of all the people it touches. Healthy people tend to be productive people, so the impact of working with FA extends to the quality of life and productivity of the organization. These changes can be measured by employee productivity and satisfaction ratings, as well as patient satisfaction ratings and readmission rates.

A robust fresh food service can also connect an organization to its community by building relationships with local farmers and suppliers and the public by setting an example of what “good food for health” really means. In some cases, the public may even become patrons of on-site cafés and cafeterias.

In addition to creating healthier food choices, can FA help my bottom line?
Yes! A nutritious, delicious food service that includes true engagement and learning about the pleasure and importance of eating good food can confer a competitive advantage to any organization.

  • In health care, nutritious food is an important element of the continuum of care, reducing relapse and readmission rates to hospitals.
  • By promoting employee wellness, healthful food can help keep employees productive and well, reducing health insurance claims for preventable illnesses related to poor diet and obesity.

What do your services cost?
FA’s fees are structured according to the nature of the project: per project, or stages of a project, and per day for advisory services.
We negotiate and set specific budgets together with clients so there are no surprises.


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