It was my pleasure to bring together two powerhouses in the food world: Williamson Hospitality, a division of CulinArt Group, and The Food Trust (a national organization whose mission is “to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions”) to chat about our mutual interest in healthy food from sustainable sources.

I brought together CulinArt and The Food Trust.

At the table were Harry Williamson, VP in charge of health care accounts for CulinArt, John Weidman, Deputy Executive Director at The Food Trust, and myself, farm to table advocate.

For starters, we talked about potential partnerships that would be mutually beneficial to our organizations, and I was encouraged to hear that we shared a common goal of feeding people nutritious and affordable food. Given that as a starting point, there was much to discuss about how we could work together.

My interest in bringing us together was to share best practices, and help push forward each other’s mission. One idea was for students at PCOM and the medical staff at the food trust to coordinate services. For example, students at PCOM already do health screenings for under-privileged people at shelters in Philadelphia, and The Food Trust is getting involved in health screening as part of their programming. The Food  Trust also hosts cooking demonstrations at local farmers markets and we discussed the possibility of having CulinArt Chefs do some of these demos. These two initiatives merely scratched the surface; we agreed there is so much more that can be done.

Harry and I shared with John the current farm to health care initiatives that our company is implementing. “We are committed to working with local farmers and distributors to provide our diners the freshest seasonal produce while supporting our local communities” is the commitment we make on our website.

The Food Trust’s website describes “working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers … a comprehensive approach to improved food access that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food.” This is consistent with my philosophy.

It always amazes me how these things come together. If we bring together private-sector companies, Schools, Healthcare Facilities and nonprofit organizations, we will have tremendous power to make change.

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