One On One With: Hospital food pantry
REX Healthcare is one of a growing number of hospitals that are opening such pantries to help food-insecure patients with their recovery. The food pantry is simply the latest innovation from the dining team at the North Carolina Hospital, which has created a culture of culinary prowess and creativity.
We sat down with Jim McGrody, director of culinary nutrition services, to find out about starting the pantry, why he got into healthcare foodservice and what’s up next for the hospital.
One On One With: What is healthy
We spoke with Zia Ahmed, senior director of dining at Ohio State University, about how he defines healthy (hint: It includes serving pizza and fried chicken) and how his dining team works to ensure they are meeting all their students’ health and wellness needs.
One On One With: Declining student enrollment
According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the number of students who enrolled in colleges in the spring 2019 semester dropped for the eighth consecutive year. The decline this spring was only 1.7%, but represents 300,000 fewer students, and when compounded over eight years, that’s no small drop in the bucket.
So just what happens when student enrollment declines? We talked with Matt Whelan, vice president of strategic initiatives, president of the Faculty Student Association at Stony Brook University in New York. Dr. Whelan’s group manages the dining services program at the university, along with other student services groups, and he’s got a firsthand look at student enrollment trends.
One On One With: NC State’s Randy Lait
Randy Lait has spent his entire career at North Carolina State (NC State) dining—his first job was as a student dining employee. After more than three decades in dining, Lait was recently named senior director of administrative services, overseeing campus enterprises like the bookstore.
One On One With: Marketing school meals
Kids—and their parents—can be the fussiest food audience to serve. At Loudoun County Schools in Virginia, Stefanie Dove has used marketing to completely turn around perceptions of school lunch, and her positive attitude is contagious.
One On One With: K-12 Procurement Ethics
We sat down with Barry Sackin, president of Sackin and Associates, a consulting firm based in California, to get an idea of the biggest pitfalls and mistakes child nutrition directors have made—often without even knowing that what they were doing was wrong.
One On One With: Creating inspired school meals
We catch Joe Urban in between his exciting culinary travels, which he uses to come up with some of the most exciting school meals out there. Urban is director of food and nutrition services for Greenville County (S.C.) Schools, the largest district in South Carolina and the 44th largest in the U.S.
One On One With: Healthcare dining's next generation
We talk with Greg Cordova, corporate executive chef for Morrison Healthcare, a foodservice provider that’s been on the leading edge of wellness before it was cool.
Cordova talks about the challenges of healthcare dining, chefs from fine dining who make the switch to healthcare (and the learning curve there), culinary school, techniques, healthcare dining’s important role, and the intersection of healthy food and comfort food.
One On One With: Back to school with fresh new ideas
We talk with Jessica Shelly, director of child nutrition and wellness at Cincinnati Public Schools, a district that serves more than 30,000 students every day. Shelly talks about her wildly successful breakfast in the classroom program, grants for more fruits and veggies, local purchasing, creating customizable bars that really work, and the ins and outs of Cincinnati chili.
One On One With: Testing delivery
“I’m proud to have a very talented team that is always trying to come up with new and innovative ideas for college students who are pretty savvy and eat out a lot.” That’s how Beth Emery, director of dining services at Boston College, describes her department. And come up with new and innovative ideas they do. In the past year alone, BC Dining has been named Innovator and received a Best Concept award.
Part of being innovative is listening to your customers, something the team is doing through the BC Test Kitchen. We recently caught up with Emery about the test kitchen and how delivery didn’t exactly catch on with her students.