Monday, August 12, 2013 - STPH Food Services Keeps it Local


COVINGTON, LA – With an eye on sustainability and support for the local economy, St. Tammany Parish Hospital’s Department of Food Services has made significant efforts to purchase produce and supplies from local distributors and wholesalers.

“Not only do we understand the positive economic impact of keeping dollars circulating within the local economy, we want to use fresh ingredients on a daily basis,” said Abry Crosby, chef and food services manager. “I love what we have here in Southeast Louisiana – it’s the most incredible place on earth. The soil is wonderful and by using local products, we reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint and support the local economy.”

Various produce purchases include squash and zucchini from Liuzza Produce Farm in Hammond, cucumbers from Tickfaw and creole tomatoes, blueberries and watermelon from Washington Parish. The popular STPH gumbo uses shrimp harvested in the Gulf of Mexico and rice from Louisiana.

STPH also maintains an herb garden with more than a dozen types of herbs including parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, lemon grass, dill, oregano, basil, chives and four types of mint. Conveniently located in the back of the hospital, the herb garden provides another way to reduce waste. According to Kathy Hill, department head for food services, the herb garden allows the cafeteria staff to “pick what they need” for a particular recipe versus purchasing fresh herbs in bulk that may go to waste if not used.

Chef Abry Crosby in the STPH herb garden.