Fresh fruit and vegetable stalls are popping up at Sheffield hospitals - and this is why

Hospitals and healthy eating don’t historically go hand in hand.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 5:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 3:31 pm
Fruit and Veg Stall outside the Childrens Hospital. Picture are play specalists Jane Worton and Ashleigh Smith. Pic Steve Ellis

But new fruit and vegetable stalls popping up right outside hospitals across Sheffield are changing that – with patients, staff and passers by calling in to grab a snack or dinner ingredients.

The stalls are in place at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, The Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Northern General Hospital.

Health chiefs approached traders in The Moor Market to ask if they could provide a healthy alternative to foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

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Fruit and Veg Stall outside the Childrens Hospital. Trying an apple is 5 years old Emily Goodlad. Pic Steve Ellis

Trader Maxine Bingham and her husband, who operate family-run Bingham and Browne, based at the Moor Market, now trade at the two Broomhill-based hospitals on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Maxine said: “It’s the way forward to get patients and staff eating healthier, people just eat too much rubbish these days, there’s too much opportunity with pizzas and all this.

“It’s important to eat healthy options and it can only do you good.”

Professor Sally Shearer, director of nursing and quality at the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust , said: “The fruit and vegetable stall at the hospital is a fantastic start to moving to healthier eating across Sheffield Children’s.

Fruit and Veg Stall outside the Sheffield Childrens Hospital. Pictured stall holder Maxine Bingham. Pic Steve Ellis

“It’s an opportunity for patients, families and people who work at the trust to access healthier options eating both at the hospital and to take home.”

The Hallamshire stall even has regulars after just a few weeks.

Hallamshire employee Catherine Walker said: “This stall has been brilliant since day one, we were not able to get things like this in the variety that they’ve got and the quality that they provide is amazing, it’s always fresh.

“Sometimes I can be a little bit lazy and don’t make any packing up but it’s on your doorstep so if you’ve forgotten something you can just come and get it. It really has made a difference.”

The initiative is also helping to divert smokers away from the main hospital entrances.

Greg Fell, director of public health at Sheffield Council, said: “We’re thrilled to see this has been a great success.

“This is a great initiative and I look forward to seeing how it will contribute, not only to our food and wellbeing strategy but also our Sheffield tobacco control strategy.

“I would love to see more of these stalls popping up around Sheffield.”