Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Clinch Memorial Hospital’s Our Daily Bread Café has prioritized serving locally sourced produce and meats. To further this effort, the café recently partnered with Retaaza, an Atlanta-based company that serves as the liaison between Georgia farms and consumers to streamline this process.
Our Daily Bread Café received its first order from Retaaza this week. Fresh, Georgia Grown kale, turnip, collard, and mustard greens are just some of the produce items included in the order. The produce came from Baker Farms with additional produce scheduled from farms such as Lewis Taylor and A&M, all located in Georgia. Produce options from Retaaza fluctuate throughout the year based on season and their harvest time.
Clinch Memorial Hospital is located in the heart of Georgia’s agriculture industry, with Clinch County being a top producer of blueberries in Southeast Georgia.
“It was heartbreaking to see the thousands of pounds of produce waste accumulate throughout the pandemic when people just were not buying fresh produce or dining out,” said Clinch Memorial’s CEO, Angela Ammons. “Farmers were suffering, and I knew there had to be a way Clinch Memorial Hospital could help ease their burden.”
Since then, Ammons has sought out local sources of produce, meats, and dairy products to serve the hospital’s patients and café customers. Retaaza plans to ease this workload by taking on most of the process including, but not limited to, logistics, purchasing, research and other elements.
“With everything else hospitals have to think about, it should not be a hospital’s responsibility to figure out how to source healthy, affordable, local food,” said Co-Founder and CEO of Retaaza, Kashi Sehgal. “Retaaza’s mission is to prevent food waste at the farm level, while also bringing farmers greater economic stability through paying them for this food they would otherwise dump or donate. We strive to make the process easier for all parties involved, including the farmer and consumer.”
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