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Organic Consumers Association

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Farm to Hospital Bed: This Hospital Uses Its Roof to Feed Thousands

When Boston Medical Center needed a way for patients to accesss healthy, fresh, food, it turned to its roof.

When people step into a hospital, they’re often looking for an answer to a problem. What’s wrong with my stomach? Can the pain in my hand go away? How do I feel better?

While nurses and doctors are there to solve those problems, they’re also working to prevent future ones. Simplified, a hospital’s job is twofold: react and prevent.

On the roof of the Boston Medical Center, they’re preventing by growing.

The hospital’s 2,658-square-foot rooftop farm grows fresh produce for its food-insecure patients. These patients are referred to the Boston Medical Center’s Preventative Food Pantry. There, they gain access to over 25 crops and can take home fresh food for their entire household every two weeks. 

“The Preventive Food Pantry helps fill the gap for those who would otherwise be unable to access affordable, nutritious food, and this expansion further demonstrates BMC’s commitment to addressing the underlying social factors that affect a patient’s health,” Thea James, MD, vice president of mission and associate chief medical officer at BMC, said in a news release.

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