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AC Library Partners with SCKMC Dietary Dept.

June 24, 2016

One of the most common beliefs about hospitals is that the food is bad. The Nutritional Services team at SCKMC has been hard at work to prove that is not the case at their hospital. For months they have been trying new recipes and fine tuning the menu in order to provide food that is both nutritious and delicious. Now they are taking the upgrade to the next level.

One of the most common beliefs about hospitals is that the food is bad. The Nutritional Services team at SCKMC has been hard at work to prove that is not the case at their hospital. For months they have been trying new recipes and fine tuning the menu in order to provide food that is both nutritious and delicious. Now they are taking the upgrade to the next level.

            “Diane Ray, our Dietitian, and I have been talking about ways to improve our patient survey comments by making the trays that we send to the patients look better, and the food to taste better. We are really working on garnishes, and how the food looks. We want to make sure it is pleasing to the eye because people do eat with their eyes. When we do our menus we think about color scheme we try to make the plate look more colorful and not just have all yellows or all greens. It just makes your tray look better when you have all of those colors,” said Christine Hamm, SCKMC’s Dietary Manager.

            But the addition of color doesn’t stop with the food itself. Hamm has formed a partnership with the Arkansas City Public Library to brighten up the placemats for patient trays.

            “I was looking up the cost of decorative tray papers and the prices are just outrageous. As I was thinking about how this might work, the library just popped into my head. I called Gail (Palmer, Children’s Librarian at the Arkansas City Public Library) and asked if she had a group of kids who would like to do some coloring,” Hamm said.

            Palmer oversees a class at the library every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. for story time and an art group that meets on Thursdays. Most of the artists are under the age of seven, but a teen group that meets at the library will soon begin decorating place mats also. In addition, the Auxiliary volunteers have been helping with their artistic talents during their spare time at the hospital information desk.

            “The kids just really seem to enjoy it and I know the patients love it. I spoke to some of the patients just a couple of days ago. One lady had a butterfly drawn on the corner of her placemat and she didn’t want me to take her tray because she wanted her butterfly, so I left that part with her. She said that’s too pretty to throw away,” Hamm said.