RESTON, Va. – An agreement between Premier healthcare alliance and Murray’s Chicken of South Fallsburg, NY will give hospitals and other institutions access to Murray’s products as of Oct. 1.

Officials say Premier's contract with Murray’s Chicken will make sustainably produced chicken more accessible and affordable not only to hospitals, but to other institutional Premier alliance members as well. Members will be able to access these products through US Foodservice, Premier's primary distributor.

This contract is a significant decision for hospitals around the country striving to create sustainable foodservice options.

"Our facilities buy and serve a great deal of chicken," said Nancy Mulvihill, vice president of corporate communications for Covenant Health Systems and head of Covenant's Environmental Committee. Covenant Health Systems is based in New England and belongs to Yankee Alliance, a Premier member. "And as much as possible we'd like to support producers whose practices do not further jeopardize the continued effectiveness of antibiotics."

"As a smaller, family owned business, it is rare for us to be given the same opportunity to be awarded a contract as the commodity chicken companies," said Steve Gold, vice president of marketing and sales for Murray's Chicken. "We are excited that more of our products will be served in hospitals."