Gone are the days when the hospital kiosk and fast food outlets down the road were the only options for hungry bellies at Nambour Hospital.
A new superfood-charged vending machine offers everything from a superfood salad to spaghetti bolognaise, soups, wraps, meat salads and colourful vegetable salads.
Pesto Pasta, Jim Junkie and Buddha Bowl are just a few of the healthy, vitamin-filled, organic meals on offer at the All Real Food vending machine at the hospital’s main entrance.
Patients feeling like a snack can now buy a tub of Hickory Smoked Nuts, Wholly Guacamole, some Fuel-Up Energy Bites or a selection of sweets.
Behind the launch of the machine is Sunshine Coast Health Foundation Wishlist, which saw a need for healthier, nutritious meal options for night shift workers and after hours visitors of the hospital.
Co-founded by Daniella Stalling and Mark Woodhead, All Real Food’s vending machines or “self-service cafes” are quickly making their way into hospitals, train stations, fitness centers and universities across Queensland.
After launching All Real Food self-service café vending machines at Prince Charles Hospital and Brisbane Private Hospital earlier this year and receiving an “overwhelmingly positive” response from staff and visitors, Danny Stalling and Mark Woodhead say they listened to staff demands and made the decision to target more hospitals.
“We wanted to deliver a concept that not only educated people about healthy eating, but provided real, healthy food with traceable, locally sourced ingredients,” Ms Stalling said.
“In particular, we wanted to target the hospital market and improve the dietary choices available to employees and visitors who are often stuck for choice after hours.
“Whether you’re a nurse, a doctor or visitor, it isn’t unusual to be at a hospital at odd hours of the day and night.
“At odd times of the day, not many people are thinking about what they’re going to eat, they just grab whatever is available or convenient.”
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the machines were part of the Health Service’s Health4Life initiative to champion healthier lifestyles for staff.
“A staff survey conducted in 2011 indicated three main areas of health concern among staff – being overweight, work and financial stress, and irregular health screenings,” Ms Rowe said.
“Several initiatives including yoga, health-related sessions and the service’s Fitness Passport are already underway. These new vending machines will now add to the goal of giving staff access to healthy food 24/7.”
Meals are priced between $4.50 and $12.90, and are suitable for all dietary requirements.
It is the self-serve cafe’s first foray on the Sunshine Coast after installing is first machine in September last year.
Words by Sunshine Coast Daily’s Nicky Moffat and Bianca Keegan.
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