12.28.2016 Back to News

Methodist Memories: Succotash or Braised Lamb, Anyone?

In 1966, an article about Methodist Hospital Food Service highlighted the scope and impact of this department's contribution to overall patient care. A few excerpts:

Imagine being responsible for an average of 700 patient meals a day, plus 700 employee meals a day with all the preparation necessary and the planning that goes into it. How would you like to wash dishes for 500,000 meals in a year? You will begin to get some idea of the enormity of the department's task.

In 1930, Methodist Hospital was the first Nebraska hospital to establish a selective system of food choice. This means patients, with the limits of their particular dietary needs, may choose their own menu.

For instance, there are foods included in bland diets, soft diets, regular diets and low-cholesterol diets that offer several choices. Perhaps some are favorite foods, some not. The patient may pick those that he likes best.

The whole plan makes his stay at Nebraska Methodist Hospital more pleasant and hastens his recovery. Tempermental appetites respond to special foods, and these are supplied when prescribed.

Average cost per patient meal cost is $1.41 -- including food, labor and supply costs.

A typical patient menu:

Source: NMH Pulse Beat, "At NMH, Food Service Is a Specialty," Winter 1966.