Hyperlocal sourcing is routine at Boston Medical Center, where about two dozen fruit and vegetable crops grow on the hospital’s rooftop farm. The harvested produce goes into patient meals, cafeteria menus and an onsite farmer’s market. It is also forms the foundation of the hospital’s teaching kitchen, where chefs and dietitians demo healthy recipes for patients, visitors and the community.

During the pandemic, the demos transitioned to Zoom, but the focus remained on nutritious, sustainable yet attainable dishes. Beans and legumes play a major role in recipes such as BBQ Black Bean Burgers with Yuca Fries, Curried Red Lentils with Cilantro Barley and Beet Hummus. And vegetables from the rooftop farm go into African Groundnut Stew with Lemony Greens and Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, among other salads, soups, sides and snacks.

Boston Medical Center also offers a Preventative Food Pantry that provides free groceries and nutrition guidelines to low-income patients and families struggling with food insecurity.