Networking pays off

Discussions between members of two related organizations have led to a first-of-its-kind seminar.

On Sept. 15, members of two healthcare foodservice groups will get together for a one-day seminar that at least one person hopes will be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Jim McGrody, foodservice director at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., and a member of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF), was the catalyst for the First Annual Carolina Healthcare Food Service Summit. The event, which is open to members of AHF and the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), will be held at a U.S. Foods location in suburban Charlotte. The event will include presentations and cooking demos on topics that are of interest to both groups, such as ways to reduce costs.

“I’ve been asked by ANFP to speak several times at local events and the national conference,” McGrody explained, “and I’ve gotten to know some of the members.”

One of those members is Carolyn Cooper, the foodservice director at Twin Lakes, a retirement community in Burlington, N.C. As McGrody related, the two directors sat down at a conference and talked about the differences and similarities between the two organizations.

“I thought that there is a lot of knowledge on both sides that we could share. For instance, I have two nursing homes I’m responsible for and I could probably learn a lot from [long-term care] members of ANFP.”

So McGrody went to U.S. Foods with the idea of staging a networking event. What came out of that meeting was a one-day meeting that would be free of charge to members of either group. The event is not being sponsored by either AHF or ANFP.

Because of space, the seminar will be limited to about 50 people—a number McGrody said has already been reached.

“I am amazed at how much interest there is in this,” he noted. He’s promised to share with us photos and a recap from the event.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources