Press Release

Mercy Hospital cafeterias offering nutritional guidance program

PORTLAND, Maine — Mercy Health System of Maine announced its cafeterias will feature the Guiding Stars food nutrition rating system.

The Guiding Stars system rates the nutritional value of every item in the Mercy State Street Cafeteria and the Fore River Cafe, including hot and cold prepared foods, salad bar items, convenience foods and beverages. Each item is labeled according to its nutritional value: one Guiding Star is good, two Guiding Stars is better and three Guiding Stars is best. All items are evaluated using a patented formula based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

“Helping our staff and our visitors/patients make informed nutritional choices is an important component of healthy living; we applaud Hannaford for helping to educate the public about the connection between food selections and their personal health,” said Eileen Skinner,president and CEO of Mercy Health Systems. “The Guiding Stars began at Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets so many of our staff and guests are familiar with the benefits of the program.”

“It can be difficult to make the right choices when you’re worried about a loved one or you only have a few minutes to get your meal. The program uses sound scientific nutritional data, which is especially important for people with special dietary concerns,” said Mary McHugh, MS, RD, LD, manager of clinical nutrition at Mercy. 

For more information on the Guiding Stars program, visit

Mercy Health System of Maine includes Mercy Hospital, Gary’s House, McAuley Residence, Mercy Recovery Center and VNA Home Health Hospice.  MHSM provides a broad range of medical and surgical services, as well as primary and specialty care. It is a continuum of care provider for patients in southern Maine. Mercy is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Northeast Community. Mercy is a member of Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional Catholic health system serving communities in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida.  More information on Mercy is available at 


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