Meals and more feeds Indiana Seniors

Indiand senoirs

The foodservice department at Hendricks Regional Health Danville, in Indiana, has created a program called Meals and More to provide seniors with a nutritious meal when they come to the hospital.

Martha Rardin, director of nutrition and dietetics for the 127-bed hospital, says the program is a recent offshoot of the Hendricks County Meals On Wheels program, for which the hospital has been preparing meals for 42 years.

“Seniors can pick up a voucher at the Hendricks County Senior Center,” Rardin explains. “We have the vouchers color-coded by month, and seniors have to redeem the voucher in the month in which they receive it.”

The voucher is good for one meal—breakfast, lunch or dinner. The hospital is reimbursed $6.75 by the Central Indiana Council on Aging for each voucher that is redeemed. Seniors are restricted to certain menu items because the meals are required to meet certain nutritional parameters, Rardin adds.

“The idea behind the program is that seniors often come to the hospital for a doctor’s visit, a test or a procedure,” she notes. “The meal they can get here is likely to be of higher nutritional value than they might get at home or in a restaurant. So it is an opportunity for them to dine out but with a better nutritional profile for their meal.”

Rardin adds that the program has more public relations value than revenue potential; about 60 vouchers are redeemed each month. “But it does generate some additional money, and word of mouth can translate to more business for us,” she says.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
business pamphlet fair show

As we struggle to recruit and retain millennials, we had our current millennial employees invite friends who don’t work for our organization to a Q&A session where we find out why our organization is or isn’t appealing to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. I recommend doing this off-site in a casual environment so you can get honest and open feedback that could be useful for better marketing.

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

Menu Development
sweet pea ravioli

On any given night at the Wake Robin senior living facility in Shelburne, Vt., residents may find spring sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli with white wine cream sauce or acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and cranberries on the menu. These dishes, along with a new sweet-potato burger topped with cilantro aioli, aren’t just delicious, says Director of Dining Services Kathy King. They’re also completely vegetarian.

The popularity of Meatless Mondays and the growing number of people who call themselves “flexitarians” have impacted menu development in every noncommercial sector. Although...

FSD Resources