Question: Employees of our hospital serve in leadership roles of our Food Leadership Council. The council works to move local sustainable food purchasing forward for many hospitals and other institutions in our community, which results in increased access to healthier foods through distributors, and thus in the community. Can we claim their meeting and travel time in the hospital’s community benefit report?
Recommendation: The cost of employees serving on local Food Leadership Council can be reported as community benefit in the following circumstances:
- The work of the Food Leadership Council is related to an identified community health need
- The purpose of the Council is to improve community health (or another community benefit objective)
- The time reported spent on the Council is related to community health improvement (as opposed to the hospital's community food service needs). Ideally the hospital should be able to show/document that their time is not solely devoted to meeting their own hospital's food service needs, i.e. ordering their own food.