Veterans Voices: A change to food service & a national award for the VA

Veterans Voices

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Mountain Home VA is serving up some change in its care of veterans, an effort that has led to national recognition.

Asking for a snack might seem like a simple request, but the VA has undergone serious changes to make food preparation and delivery at the facility top-notch.

“We were cooking food ahead of time, chilling it down really quickly and serving it onto plates cold and them warming it up in special devices meant to do that before the food was delivered,” said Holly Taylor, assistant chief of nutrition and food services at the VA. “Now we are cooking the food and serving it on the same day that it’s cooked.”

“We’ve taken our nutrition ambassador with our bedside select program, and they actually go to the floors and speak to the patient and get their meals for each meal and their preferences that way,” said Brandy Goble, manager for nutrition and food service at Food Services Systems.

Production manager Norman Faw at the VA says the step up in food service goes beyond just the actual cooking.

“Listening, caring and then also going the extra mile for that person and making sure that their day here at the VA is the fantastic day that they could possibly have under the circumstances,” Faw said.

The proof of his efforts at the VA is now recognized nationally. Recently, Faw won The National VHA Food Service Excellence Award for Nutrition and Food Service Supervisor, something he says is more than just good news for him.

“It’s a great honor for us to get that award. It’s positive for the VA and it’s positive for the coworkers that I have here,” he said. All of that hard work is something he is proud of. “I love the VA. I love serving our veterans. I love being a veteran, serving the veterans.”

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