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Lourdes Green Initiatives

Food Scraps from Lourdes Help Farmers and the Environment

FeedtoFarmHolidayDinner_smThe Lourdes Green Initiatives Department works closely with departments throughout the hospital to find ways to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. In October of 2010, they worked with the Food and Nutrition Department to begin a composting program. Compost is created using food scraps from kitchen prep and from guest and patient food trays. This not only reduces the amount of trash being generated, it also keeps nutrient rich materials out of landfills and puts them back into the soil where they benefit flowers and plants on the grounds of Lourdes Hospital.

Recently, our composter Richard Herb, owner of Natural By Nature, a nonprofi t service that works to provide local farmers with food waste from local restaurants to feed livestock, worked with cafeteria management and staff to create a new program called Feed to Farm. This new initiative takes the composting program a step further and helps local farmers support their families.

For the Feed to Farm program the kitchen staff separates usable food waste from compostable food waste. The usable food waste is delivered to local subsistence level farmers who use the food to feed pigs and chickens. Subsistence farmers are those who support their families directly on what they raise and produce on the farm. Providing food waste to these farmers helps them maintain their families and encourages them to share their surplus stock with additional needy farm families. Livestock and eggs produced in excess are sold by the farmers for additional income and to help keep their farms and way of life viable.

This Lourdes initiative helps to support the preservation of small family farms, supports families in need, reduces the volume of organic material entering landfills, returns nutrients to our environment and helps to maintain our high soil quality and fertility, all while reducing our cost of trash disposal. Lourdes Hospital keeps about 2 tons of organic waste out of the landfill every week through our composting and Feed to Farm programs.

LOURDES Hospital | 169 Riverside Drive • Binghamton, NY 13905 | Phone: 607-798-5111 / Directory | Email: info@lourdes.com