This Triple Threat of a Hospital Teaching Kitchen, Pantry, and Rooftop Farm Sustains Health Through Food
Boston Medical Center (BMC) understands that food is medicine, and that eating healthy can be tough with a busy schedule on a tight budget. So, it launched a triumvirate of food is medicine initiatives: a Preventive Food Pantry with medically and culturally appropriate food, a Rooftop Farm with fresh produce, and a Teaching Kitchen for culinary skills and nutrition education.
The teaching kitchen hosts an average of 25 classes a month. Its medically tailored classes aim to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chronic pain, substance use disorder, bariatric weight loss surgery management and more. Community classes offer culinary skills for staff during their lunch hour, people in the refugee program, students in Boston Public Schools, and the families of patients and staff. The BMC teaching kitchen also reaches Boston University staff to support wellness and Boston University’s Medical School students to introduce them to culinary medicine.
BMC is a leader in healthcare systems, showing that not only does it need to diagnose, treat, and manage disease—it must center preventive health around food.