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Healthcare dining trending: Free food program for volunteers; Culinary Academy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

New ways to satisfy salad bar-craving customers in healthcare food service, Confluence Health adjusts to lower patient, retail meal demand with grocery and family meal service and more trending stories

This month, healthcare facilities across the country worked to feed volunteers and make staff members happy while caring for patients.

When cases of COVID-19 really started to increase across the U.S., San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital halted all non-essential services as well as its very active volunteer program. Instead, hospital staff flipped the tables by initiating a free food program to provide support and resources to volunteers, most of which were senior citizens from the local community.

This covers about 40 volunteers that work at a time, some of which have been with the hospital volunteering for 15 to 20 years.

For full-time employees, The Culinary Academy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital began to offer intensive full-day courses taught by veteran staff chefs to enhance dining associates’ culinary skills, help employee retention and morale and raise kitchen staff quality.

And the way these chefs can cook will change too. Healthcare foodservice operators from Cura, part of Elior North America, have been tinkering with some interesting ways to bring back a bit of the salad-bar feel while safely distancing at the same time. See what they've come up with.

Plus more trending stories from Food Management this month.

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