Local and national restaurants
Gundersen has developed a healthy-eating program, branded as the 500 Club, in which its registered dietitians work with local restaurants (including several national chains), convenience stores, vending companies, and grocery stores to recommend certain menu items as healthy—about 500 calories or less and controlled in fat. These health menu selections are tagged with the 500 Club icon for easy identification by patrons, and can be found throughout six states and more than 170 individual locations.
The hospital has also joined forces with its county health department and five public school districts in La Crosse County to partner in its Farm2School program, which features food demonstrations provided by Gundersen Lutheran Chef Thomas Sacksteder. Using locally grown foods, Chef Thomas teaches children how to cook healthy food options using locally grown fruits and vegetables. In 2011, he reached out to more than 3,000 students, offering more than 20,000 samples of locally grown foods.