If you’re familiar with Meals on Wheels or other facilities that prepare meals for those who cannot get out to shop or are unable to cook for themselves, you may have preconceived visions of that food as nutritious but bland. You might be surprised to learn that at a medium-sized agency in the Midwest, cooking is a soulful expression of love and home.

Synod Community Services manages 15 specialized foster care programs for disabled and elderly adults, and staff prepares all meals in-house.

“The agency’s focus on quality and variety in our meals, especially dinner, grew innocently enough out of the hidden talents of our staff,” says Keisha Duvall, Regional Program Supervisor. At first you would only hear scattered comments about a particular staff who could really cook, and who was spicing up the menu with cuisine from his or her native country, modified to meet the state’s nutritional guidelines. Not to be outdone, it then seemed like at least one staff from every program began developing ethnic meals based on his or her culture’s traditional foods. Now we get meals drawn from the Food Channel, everywhere. Cooking is fun and a point of pride.

Once a month at each program, the staff takes the time to prepare a particularly special meal – it may be for a birthday or holiday, or sometimes there is no occasion other than gathering together.

One of the amazing features of this service is that there can be as many as six different prescribed diets for which staff have to account in the preparation of their meals. Sometimes this is accomplished by preparing different versions of the same entree, but it’s obviously more efficient to have a single dish meet every restriction.

December In House Cuisine 

February In House Cuisine

April In House Cuisine