Since consuming fresh plant-based foods has such a positive health impact, applying this concept to those being treated for chronic illness makes great sense. The farm to patient concept is now being pioneered by a hospital and farm partnership in the Phoenix area. Cancer Treatment Centers of America and McClendon's Select have established a 25 acre organic farm next to the hospital with the purpose of delivering the freshest ingredients to the patients!
Per this article, the farm, named Hope Springs, harvested its first crop in 2013 and the hospital hired a well known chef, who participated in the development of the farm, to create meals for the patients with the belief that the fresh vegetables have the power to heal.
Chef Caputo believes they might be the first hospital in the US to establish its own farm, and he thinks it’s a model for others. His passion for food as the embodiment of love and compassion, his commitment to constant improvement and learning, his belief in the advantages of organic, fresh produce over the food service standards used in hospitals and institutions nationwide - these are the core of his conviction and the reason he goes to work each day. Source
McClendon leases the land from CTCA, growing for Chef Caputo’s kitchen on part of it and using the remaining acreage to grow for his farmers market and other wholesale clients. Maxed out at his previous site and unable to meet increasing demand, the farm at CTCA provided the perfect opportunity for McClendon to expand his growing while deepening a relationship that contributes to the healing of hundreds of patients every day. Many of those patients participate in garden activities with their caregivers and a few even help regularly with harvests for the kitchen.