Growing food, growing healthy communities: Opportunities for the European healthcare sector

Green spaces and healthy diets are both very important for our physical and mental health; green spaces used to grow food in healthcare settings offer an opportunity to support both disease prevention and treatment as well as support wider community health and health education.

This opportunity to link green spaces and food-growing spaces with health and nutrition is often missed or underused, but some healthcare providers in Europe are identifying new and creative ways of increasing their use of green spaces for the benefit of staff, patients, and local communities.

Growing food, growing healthy communities: Opportunities for the European healthcare sectorIn our latest report, we provide case studies from across European healthcare that demonstrate the many environmental, social, and economic benefits of using green spaces within healthcare facilities for gardening and growing food.

It’s not just the space that yields benefits, but how it is leveraged - food growing initiatives offer an opportunity for staff, patients, and the local community to come together and learn about the benefits of local, seasonal, and organic food, whilst creating therapeutic, health-promoting green spaces. Many of the initiatives featured in this report also highlight the economic potential of on-site food production and help build a business case for investment.

Following the experiences of growing healthy and sustainable food within healthcare facilities in Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom – this new report discusses the opportunities and challenges of establishing on-site food growing projects. Building on the experiences of the case studies, the report also features a series of recommendations that can help give direction to other healthcare providers looking to create a food-growing space in their own healthcare facility.

Growing food within healthcare is an opportunity to support public health, education, and the community.

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