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March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta-based Morrison today announced it has become the first healthcare food service contract company to commit to The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and its Hospital Healthy Food Initiative. Morrison's commitment along with that of its clients could impact 41 million patients served annually and 403 million guest meals sold in cafes, vending areas and kiosks annually.
"This commitment is an extension of our already well-established wellness platform initiatives and programs, which align with PHA goals and the mission of their organization," said
Tim Pierce, CEO, Morrison. "We've been at the forefront of the industry on health and wellness for more than two decades. The PHA partnership is an extension of our philosophy of offering wholesome, nutritious, and better-for-you foods and will allow us to make healthful choices easy and even more accessible to millions of patients, staff and visitors."
The PHA Hospital Healthy Food Initiative seeks to move healthcare institutions toward delivering nutritious options to meet the needs of the children, families and communities they serve. In joining the initiative, Morrison agrees to make a commitment to adopt standards for nutrition labeling, healthy food marketing, wellness meal offerings, elimination of deep fat fryers, increases in healthy beverages and increases in fruits and vegetables offered.
"Morrison's commitment not only brings more healthy options to patients, staff and the families and friends of those they care for; it also reaches beyond the walls of the hospitals to impact the entire food system," said PHA CEO
Lawrence A. Soler. "Today's announcement will dramatically increase the number of hospitals that are part of PHA's Hospital Healthy Food Initiative, the single most expansive effort in hospital food and nutrition in the industry. We are thrilled that Morrison is joining the fight to increase access to healthier options, so that people who want to can make the healthier choice."
Using the latest research on healthful eating and incorporating techniques that influence behavioral change in food consumption, Morrison will improve the health profile of the hospitals it serves by implementing such changes as:
eliminating 5.7 million pounds of sugar from bottled beverages
switching to exclusive use of whole grain or legume-based pasta in the 3.7 million pounds of pasta served each year
offering whole grains as an alternative to the 1.9 million pounds of rice served annually
offering better-for-you foods in place of high impulse low-nutrient food at cash registers
reducing fat calories by using healthier, misted oils exclusively in appropriate applications
and featuring images of healthy nutrient-rich food in regular marketing promotions
"We believe we have a responsibility to help change people's lives through healthier food environments," Pierce said. "By joining with PHA, we can help hospitals in their mission of becoming models of healthful eating and implementing practices that support a more robust and healthier food system. We want to support healthcare institutions as they encourage behavioral change in the hospital environment and the community."