NFEF Announces 2021 Award Recipients

Released: 20-July-2021
Contact Information
Emmy Bender
Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals
Marketing Associate
800.323.1908 x127 

St. Charles, IL – Each year, the Nutrition & Foodservice Education Foundation (NFEF), the philanthropic arm of the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) promotes two awards – The Foodservice Education Innovator of the Year Award and the Foodservice Department of the Year Award. NFEF is pleased to announce its 2021 award recipients.

Nutrition & Foodservice Education Foundation Announces 2021 Foodservice Education Innovator of the Year Award

NFEF has announced the recipient of the 2021 Foodservice Education Innovator of the Year Award. 

The purpose of this award is to honor a facility or company for their unique training or education initiatives in the following areas: unique training programs for new hires; or furthering education of foodservice personnel; or unique programs that assist/encourage foodservice directors obtaining the CDM®, CFPP® credential; or an innovative program of promoting foodservice personnel competencies.

The company chosen to receive this prestigious award due to their contributions in the established areas of training and education is Germaine’s Kitchen and Café of Catholic Charities located in Portland, Oregon.  
Germaine’s Kitchen and Café is a gluten-free culinary arts program that delivers a variety of essential skills, helping students and participants on a path to success in a professional kitchen or foodservice operation. This program offers in-class instruction on the fundamentals and foundations of cooking, along with the very important job/life skills and hands-on learning in just 16 weeks. 

This program is geared towards adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), focusing on entry-level training. Designed to deliver students with the basic understanding and competencies of cooking and/or baking and life skills, this program also provides participants with the tools and skill sets along with the sensory awareness and teamwork needed to work with confidence and professionalism in a commercial kitchen or a related field. The program has been developed in collaboration with Catalyst Kitchen to ensure that students meet the needs and standards of today’s industry. Catalyst Kitchen is a Seattle-based organization devoted to ending the cycle of joblessness, poverty, and hunger. 

At Germaine’s Kitchen and Café, students are met with encouragement to learn and provide real-life experiences to unlock their potential. With small class sizes, students are offered focused, individualized attention from professional chefs, instructors, and faculty. 

During this 500+ hour certificate program, students will have the opportunity to learn and demonstrate an understanding of food identification and nutrition principles and gain the knowledge and professional skills used in food preparation and service. Students are prepared to advance their skill sets through the teaching of proper use and maintenance of professional knives, hand tools, and commercial kitchen equipment, proper food handling, storage, safety, and sanitation that can later earn a food handler safety certification. Students who attend this program will also learn how to communicate accurately and effectively, and to exemplify a personal sense of professionalism necessary for working successfully in the foodservice and hospitality industry. 
Catholic Charities was founded in 1933 during the Great Depression and has been a leader in finding innovative solutions to poverty and injustice. Their mission is to assure that essential, life-saving services and supports are accessible to the most vulnerable Oregonians. Catholic Charities of Oregon is committed to improving the livelihood of individuals, families, and communities affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Catholic Charities of Oregon aims to provide help and create hope, and at Germaine’s Kitchen and Café, a seat at the table, where everyone belongs.
About Germaine’s Kitchen and Café of Catholic Charities 
Germaine’s Kitchen and Café is at the heart of Catholic Charities of Oregon’s Food Response Network. Germaine’s prepares and distributes hot meals for unhoused neighbors in Southeast Portland. Hot Meals for Unhoused Neighbors is an initiative at St. Francis Dining Hall, along with other distribution sites and sanctioned camps, that focuses on food preparation and distribution efforts to feed those who are experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity. As part of this initiative, Catholic Charities of Oregon is providing approximately 1,000 meals a week for unhoused neighbors in Southeast Portland.

Nutrition & Foodservice Education Foundation Announces 2021 Foodservice Department of the Year Award 

NFEF has announced the recipient of the 2021 Foodservice Department of the Year Award. 

The purpose of this award is to recognize and honor an entire team for innovative practices or excellence in foodservice management. Nominees are evaluated in the following 4 areas: 
Teamwork – How well department staff members communicate, cooperate, and work together to make the department collectively greater than the sum of its multiple functions. 

Innovation – How the department approaches day-to-day operations for internal customers that highlights and reinforces its importance to the organization.

Customer service – How the department’s operational activities directly and indirectly influence high-quality service.  How the department contributes to the well-being of their clients, residents, or patients.

Operational Contribution – How specifically the department has contributed to the overall operation of the organization.  (This could include financial operations, enhanced marketing efforts, staffing, surveys, etc.)   

The foodservice department chosen to receive this prestigious award due to their contributions in the established areas of foodservice management is Arkansas Heart Hospital (AHH) located in Little Rock, Arkansas. 
AHH is the premiere cardiac hospital in Arkansas. Beyond Cardiac Care, also known as a hospital that delivers outstanding care overall for the complete patient experience. 

The culinary staff of Arkansas Heart Hospital is known to deliver the same care through high-quality, five-star meal service using fresh and exciting menu options daily. The AHH culinary team also oversees various operations including inpatient tray line, the café, gift shop, food truck, nutrition pods, and catering events, all while communicating and working together throughout the day to ensure their department is running at full operating power. 

Laura Walters, MS, CDM, CFPP, Director of Culinary shares, “Our team goes above and beyond each day and has ownership and accountability in our department.” In 2021, after the new hospital was recently built, the team pulled together to set up the kitchen and worked through the processes beforehand to help make opening day run smoothly. They demonstrate teamwork through planning, strategizing, and communicating effectively to cover all areas, ensuring everyone is taken care of all hours of the day. Inspections were passed with flying colors and each staff member learned much throughout the process across several hours of training and educating one another to run a successful kitchen and operation. 
Through teamwork and innovation, the culinary staff opened a 24-hour, self-service café in their new hospital. Using barcode technology and preparing fresh foods that can be scanned and checked out, this allows the café to provide employees and visitors with inviting, heart-healthy meals at any time, day or night. 

During the ice and snowstorms of the 2021 winter, hospital staff provided patients, visitors, and employees with hot meals each day and offered snacks and to-go meals to employees staying overnight to care for their patients from their Pop-Up Café. 

Arkansas Heart Hospital is a five-star rated facility delivering five-star results with fresh foods made daily for their nourishment pods. In 2019, AHH added a 320-squarefoot, climate-controlled greenhouse that provides the culinary team direct access to fresh ingredients allowing heart-healthy and affordable options for their staff and patients. Each meal is prepared with top-notch recipes and fresh ingredients from the garden for the café and patient tray line. The culinary staff thrives on providing quality food with a picture-perfect presentation, and superior ingredients. RDNs and chefs teamed up to provide educational materials that recreate and promote healthy eating recipes and they now share these as samples to customers for free, giving each one a chance to try something new. 

At Arkansas Heart Hospital, resilience without compromise and compassion with action are what the culinary team is made of!
About Arkansas Heart Health
Arkansas Heart Hospital is a nationally recognized and award-winning hospital dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease serving over 20,000 patients per year from throughout the State of Arkansas.

About NFEF

The Nutrition & Foodservice Education Foundation (NFEF) was originally founded in 1994, as the Dietary Managers Association (DMA) Foundation. It was re-configured as a part of the DMA’s re-branding and name change to the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) in 2012. NFEF engages in innovative research, education, and charitable causes that promote the vital role of the Certified Dietary Manager as the expert in the profession of foodservice management and food safety. NFEF supports the goals of ANFP and works to strengthen the overall nutrition and foodservice profession. As ANFP’s philanthropic arm, the Foundation is organized to advance the foodservice and nutrition profession to stay ahead of rapid change by fostering innovative thinking, cutting-edge research, and new ideas. The Foundation’s highest priority is research and education for the future.

ANFP is a national not-for-profit association established in 1960 that represents more than 15,000 professional members dedicated to the mission of providing optimum nutritional care through nutrition and foodservice management. ANFP members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities and other non-commercial food settings.