Local meat and produce is finding its way to plates in Maryland’s nursing homes. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

It’s hard to get anywhere around a plate of food these days without the word sustainability popping up. High-end restaurants have gone sustainable. College campuses have gone sustainable. Local fast-food places have, too.

Add this to the list: nursing homes.

CNS Maryland reported this the other day:

A recent lunch at FutureCare Cherrywood, a nursing home in Reisterstown, was Salisbury steaks served with green beans, mashed potatoes and rice pudding.

The ground beef used in the steaks was from farmer Shane Hughes of Liberty Delight Farm, located just four miles from the nursing home. Bread was only offered to those residents who asked for it, in an effort to cut food waste and save money for organic and local food.

Many of the residents were in wheelchairs and dealing with respiratory issues, but they are taking part in a new statewide initiative at health care facilities that encourages patients to eat more sustainably.

FutureCare Cherrywood is one of nine Maryland health care facilities that is regularly purchasing and serving local, sustainable beef and poultry to its patients, while reducing its food budget.

Costs at the nursing home went down, and so did complaints about the food.

“When I first came here, the complaints were astronomical,” said Food Service director Sandy Stallings.. Now, there are no complaints, just suggestions. The residents know oysters are in season now, and we are trying to find them some local oysters.”

I wish my own grandparents lived and ate better when they faced nursing home living many years ago. They deserved to eat better. They deserved local oysters. They deserved — like nursing home patients everywhere — fresh and tasty food.