[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                          July 24, 2009

McCoy to represent IMCOM-Northeast 
in food service contest

The Fort McCoy Food Service program has been selected to represent Installation Management Command (IMCOM)-Northeast Region in the 2009 Philip A. Connelly Awards Program in the small dining facility category and will compete at the Department of the Army (DA) level later this year.

Photo: Anna Nelson, Linda Johnson, Amanda Thayer and Kenny Wilson participate in panning up bacon at the Installation Dining Facility. (Photo by Anthony Williams)
Anna Nelson, Linda Johnson, Amanda Thayer and Kenny Wilson participate in panning up bacon at the Installation Dining Facility. (Photo by Anthony Williams)

Nancy E. Sendlenski-Harvey, the Fort McCoy Installation Food Program Manager, said the competition included an IMCOM site visit to Dining Facility (DFAC) 50, the installation dining facility.

Information from the entire program also was considered for its impact in running and supporting the installation dining facility, she said.

"Commanders have the opportunity to nominate their dining facility to compete for the award, and the garrison commander nominated DFAC 50 to be considered for this award," Sendlenski-Harvey said. "Command support bolsters the program. The competition and award highlights the work of our food operations and informs Soldiers as to what happens in food service."

Sendlenski-Harvey said it is significant the program is competing for the prestigious award during the installation’s 100th anniversary year.

"This nomination is in keeping with the high-caliber performance visible installationwide," she said. "We are hoping to contribute to this being a banner year for Fort McCoy."

Many factors go into creating a successful Food Service program that meets the needs of its customers.

Sendlenski-Harvey said the people involved in the program take into account the nutrition and dietary requirements in each meal, the palatability of the food, and the desires of the personnel eating in the DFACs, including regional preferences.

Fort McCoy’s program also includes food operations and food-service area/dining facility improvements/upgrades at the Contingency Operating Locations; the cantonment-area dining facilities; Meals, Ready-to-Eat distribution; and food taken to the Soldiers training in the field in insulated food containers, she said.

"The food must meet Army standards," Sendlenski-Harvey said. "We plan menus on a 28-day cycle, and the menus are changed every month. Our goal is to take the standard to higher levels."

The process to plan menus includes input from many sources, including the Soldiers, projected head counts at meals, ordering food, etc, she said.

Anthony Williams, a Quality Assurance Evaluator/Food Specialist for the Food Program Management Office, said both contracted and federal government employees are involved in ensuring the Food Service operation provides quality meals and meets Soldiers’ needs.

"We all work together so we can put out an outstanding product," Williams said. "No Soldier goes hungry. If they’re out training in the field and can’t make it in during normal dining times we are flexible to support their needs."

If the Fort McCoy Food Service program wins at the DA level, they will receive an opportunity to attend the International Food Service Executives Association annual conference and awards ceremony, a trophy and recognition through a Department of Defense Food Service Magazine.

Attendance at the conference will help Food Service personnel keep up on the latest information in the field, network with their military and civilian peers and give the Fort McCoy program increased visibility, Sendlenski-Harvey said.

Sendlenski-Harvey said a Food Management Assistance Team also was at Fort McCoy July 20-23 to assess where the food program is and to provide input to sustain and improve the Food Service program.

"The program has many parallels with its civilian counterparts, and we like to capitalize on the opportunities for cross talk and benchmarking with civilian industry leaders," she said.

"We appreciate the installation’s support," she said. "That’s why we’re here — to improve Food Service quality and service provided to the Soldiers subsisting on Fort McCoy."

Personnel who eat in the military dining facilities/food-service areas also are encouraged to provide feedback — both positive and negative — to the Food Program Management Office through the Customer Comment Card program.

Sendlenski-Harvey said the comments are reviewed and acted on, to include responses to the customer as necessary, and are used as input to improve the installation’s Food Service program.


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