Fresh Advantage provides strategic guidance and technical assistance to institutions so that they can provide delicious, nutritious meals that promote the wellbeing of individuals they serve, as well as the organization’s staff. We partner with clients to create a workable plan for operational and cultural change, including “good food learning” activities throughout the organization. We have extensive experience in building partnerships between institutions, such as hospitals and schools, and community-based organizations that capitalize on their respective capacities to attain a common goal: whether it be sustainable sourcing for a food service, addressing the diet needs of patients with diabetes or cancer, or food insecurity among the institution’s client base and more broadly, as a component of population health and community initiatives.
Fresh Advantage is unique in its approach to building the role of nutritious foods in health care organizations. Using a “hub” (kitchen and cafeteria) and “spoke” (many customized programs for patients and community) model, we transform standard institutional food service from an ancillary function into a vibrant component of clinical care, the patient experience, and employee wellbeing.
Our experienced teams of chefs, nutrition experts, health educators and even farmers, when needed, collaborate with your staff to create a culture that embraces delicious, nutrient-dense foods as an essential component of healing and disease prevention. Given the challenges facing healthcare today and the epidemic of chronic disease in our country, the time for “food care” has come: it can be a powerful tool in achieving the “Triple Aim” of improving the patient experience, the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of care.
We infuse food learning into the school environment. Fresh Advantage believes that a strong food program enables students to become well-informed consumers, more knowledgeable about the many roles that food plays in the world—impacting our environment, our economy and our health.
In our work with independent and charter schools, we adapt our “hub and spoke” model. We make sure that the food served to children is appealing to them and nutritionally sound. Age appropriate food earning experiences are designed to be complementary to the school’s curriculum.
Farmers markets, food “hubs”, urban farms and distributors of local and regionally grown products are expanding in numbers across the United States. Many of these organizations (“CBO”s) have or can develop the capacity to collaborate with institutions that provide food service by:
Enriching the food service supply chain with locally and regionally produced fresh and value added products, thereby enhancing the nutritional value and taste of meals served, while ensuring revenue to stays within local economies.
Providing educational experiences on a wide variety of food related topics for individuals served by and affiliated with the institution.
Often, CBOs need assistance in planning and structuring partnerships with institutions that could benefit from a collaborative relationship, whether it be:
Expansion of sourcing for their food service operation,
Education and supportive services for population health and community benefit initiatives, in the case of hospitals, or
Educational opportunities for students, with respect to partnerships with schools.
Fresh Advantage understands the dynamics and organizational culture of hospitals and schools. We can help community-based organizations to identify mutually beneficial opportunities and then guide the execution of productive partnerships.
Philanthropy plays a key role in catalyzing change and innovation to address the most pressing issues in the interconnected domains of health, the environment and food systems. Opening the door to opportunities for creative approaches to building food systems that support human and environmental health and local and regional economies is the special province of philanthropy. With interdisciplinary, strategic thinking, the creation of structures and systems of both financial and technical support, foundations are leading the way in supporting viable alternatives to the status quo in US food production. Equally important, they are building networks of mutual support and public education that help people to become not only smart consumers, but also powerful advocates. Our specialty is assisting foundations with initiatives focused on the intersection of food systems and public health.