Grad students help hospital with foodservice program

Students hope to bring elements of fine dining to hospital setting.

Aug. 5—The tray with water glass positioned just so, the mashed potatoes in the shape of a flower, the solicitous server hovering to make sure everything is to one's liking.

The patient, meanwhile, wonders just how strong those post-op drugs really were.

In its efforts to make the typical hospital stay a little less dreary, Blake Medical Center in Bradenton reached out to an unlikely bedfellow.

Could the College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee help wedge a little more hospitality into the hospital?

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Ideas and Innovation
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We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
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This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

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