Palomar Medical Center Escondido Reduced Food Waste by 34%


In celebration of Earth Day, Palomar Health is proud to announce its largest hospital has reduced its food waste by 34% since implementing the Smart Kitchens San Diego initiative in October 2018. To reduce waste, Palomar Health’s Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) began charting and reporting the amount and types of food left over at the end of each day. After careful analysis, FANS leadership has been able to use the data to improve production and inventory control.

Additionally, unused food that meets rigorous requirements is donated to the Foundry Food Pantry, an Escondido-based, church-run food pantry that distributes free food to community members every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. As of the beginning of April, the Foundry Food Pantry has been able to provide 4,860 healthy meals to needy families with the more than 5,800 pounds of food donated by Palomar Health.

Palomar Health participates with the San Diego Food System Alliance, which is part of a national movement to reduce carbon emissions and help feed the hungry through more efficient use and distribution of food.
Consider the following statistics the next time you throw away leftovers:
  • More than half a million residents, including one in five children, in the San Diego region face food insecurity.
  • County-wide 500,000 tons of food is wasted every year.
  • Nationally 40% of all edible food is thrown away.

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