Air Force’s Miller wins IFMA Gold Plate

CHICAGO—George Miller, chief of foodservice for the United States Air Force, won the coveted Gold Plate at the annual IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Society dinner here. It is the second year in a row that a non-commercial foodservice operator earned the foodservice industry’s highest honor. Tim Deitzler, director of foodservice at Villanova University, was last year’s winner.

“People who know me say I’m never speechless, but I am speechless tonight,” said Miller, who capped a four-decade career in military foodservice with the award. He thanked his wife and family “for sticking by me through 47 years” and credited Air Force foodservice personnel for helping to make the Air Force “the best in the world.”

“You know, when you can give troops a good hot meal, you give them the energy and strength to carry out their missions, and you raise their morale,” he noted.

The event, held for the first time in the Grand Ballroom at the Navy Pier, sold out—a 20% increase in attendance over last year. IFMA chief executive Larry Oberkfell credited a new structure for the organization that has seen 45% of its members become involved in committees like the Gold and Silver Plate committee over the last year.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

As part of a 10-year contract to run Eastern Michigan University’s foodservice, Chartwells will invest $5 million in the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, as well as provide it with $18 million in capital improvements, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press .

The university’s board of regents approved the contract on Tuesday, citing the new revenue as an opportunity to expand and improve campus foodservice. EMU’s website indicates the partnership will allow for more student input as well as the introduction of food trucks and improved technology.

“The primary reason...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Virginia will soon be able to use part of their meal plans to buy fresh food grown locally, the result of a new partnership between the school and Greens to Grounds, a nonprofit organization run by students.

Starting in the fall, students will be able to use their meal plan “Plus Dollars” to purchase premade food boxes from Greens to Grounds. The boxes, which come in “snack” or “produce” options, contain a variety of vegetables and fruits with a different weekly menu. The packages typically cost no more than $10, and students will be able to place box...

Industry News & Opinion

The USDA analyzed the efficacy of using Medicaid data to certify students for free or reduced-price lunch, a provision included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Participating states and districts reported conflicting data on changes in the percentage of students certified, number of meals served, federal reimbursements and certification costs.

The method is used as an alternative to household applications and data matching with other public benefit programs to streamline the certification of more low-income students. The program was first piloted statewide in Kentucky...

Ideas and Innovation
kids students cafeteria line

While summer feeding programs are commonplace in school districts across the country, foodservice operators still struggle to get the word out and kids in.

Many districts are scaling back or discontinuing their summer feeding programs due to low participation, citing staffing costs and other issues that make it difficult to break even and provide a profitable program.

“We need to find a way to encourage that participation,” Tom Freitas—foodservice director for Traverse City Area Public Schools in Traverse City, Mich.—told Record Eagle News . “We are open to ideas as long as...

FSD Resources