GOVERNOR'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE PRESENTED TODAY
Today, at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's annual conference, St. Luke's and the Institute for a Sustainable Future, in partnership, will receive a 2007 Governor's Partnership Award for Excellence in Waste and Pollution Prevention. The award is presented in recognition of how these two partners created an environmentally responsible food system at St. Luke's.
The award is being presented for St. Luke's environmentally-focused program, the Healthy Food in Healthcare Project, which is the first local, sustainable, health care food pilot in Minnesota. Through education, targeted food procurement and the food waste diversion program, St. Luke's is developing a model of preventive health for the state and the nation. By sourcing selections of organic fruit, local produce, locally raised bison, hormone-free milk, and herring and whitefish from Lake Superior, St. Luke's reduces the air pollution from long-distance food transportation and supports the local economy. Through this program, St. Luke's is taking an active stand against the disturbing and pervasive use of chemicals-antibiotics, pesticides, arsenic and others-in industrial food production.
Since 2003, St. Luke's has participated in a food waste diversion program in partnership with America's Second Harvest, Northern Lakes food shelf. Quality leftover food from the hospital is packed, labeled and frozen, then picked up by "Serve Safe" certified food bank drivers who distribute the packages to designated sites throughout Duluth. Each year, as result of this program, we help the food bank "rescue" more than 10,000 meals.
According to Mark Branovan, St. Luke's Hospitality Services Director, "at St. Luke's, we believe that our environment is both a reflection and a result of how we live. By making decisions and taking actions that minimize our ecological "footprint," we can be a catalyst for change at the local and national levels."