Local produce on the menu at St John’s

VISITORS to St John’s Hospital can now treat themselves to local fruit and vegetables with the opening of a new food stall in the hospital.
Local West Lothian produce is available to staff, patients and visitors from the fruit and veg co-op stand at the main entrance to the hospital.
The stall, which is run by West Lothian Food and Health Development (WELFEHD), offers produce from the local area at low prices, including fruit and vegetables, flowers, and fruit baskets.
Buying local produce is better for the environment because it reduces the number of miles your food travels. Freshly picked fruit and vegetables contain more nutrients, and buying local produce also helps to support local farmers.
The initiative aims to make fresh fruit and vegetables affordable and accessible for the local community.
St John’s recently became the first hospital in Scotland to receive the Healthy Working Lives Gold Award, in recognition of the work that has been done to make the hospital a healthier workplace.
The catering department at St John’s already use local produce where possible, and NHS Lothian became the first health board in Scotland to receive a Healthy Living Award in 2006 in recognition of the food served at the hospital.
Diane Loughlin, Patient Focus Public Involvement and Health Promotion Lead, NHS Lothian, said:
“The aim of the food co-op is to offer affordable fruit and vegetables for everyone, which will help contribute towards a healthier diet and lifestyle.
“We have been really pleased with the success of the project, and on the first day the stand had to be refilled five times because the produce was selling so fast. It proved so popular that we sold over 100 punnets of strawberries alone.”
John Jack, Site Director, St John’s Hospital, NHS