Lutheran Services Carolinas receives 108K grant

"Step Up to the Plate" initiative will transform dining at NC skilled nursing communities
SALISBURY, N.C. - Dec. 20, 2018 - PRLog -- Recognizing that food is more than simply fuel for the body, Lutheran Services Carolinas is launching Step Up to the Plate, a year-long initiative that seeks to enhance and transform the dining experience for residents at its seven long-term care communities in North Carolina: Trinity Oaks (Salisbury), Trinity Place (Albemarle), Trinity Ridge and Trinity Village (Hickory), Trinity Glen (Winston-Salem), Trinity Elms (Clemmons), and Trinity Grove (Wilmington). The project was shaped by suggestions from residents, family members and staff.

To ensure that residents get the most they can out of their meals, Step Up to the Plate will bring innovation to LSC's dining operations through a grant of $108,131, made possible by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in partnership with the North Carolina Culture Change Coalition.

The project will focus on innovation in all aspects of dining services, from meal planning and preparation to plate presentation, in an attempt to deliver high-quality, easily accessible meals and snacks delivered with the diner's physical and emotional satisfaction in mind. The project will include intensive training provided by a food service and hospitality consultant, training tailored for the unique needs of each facility.

The funding will enable staff to offer more tempting food options through the purchase and use of equipment such as panini presses, waffle makers, and electric soup kettles. Vita-mix blenders will enable staff to whip up smoothies and shakes for residents, who will enjoy customizing their drinks by selecting the ingredients. Cold hydration carts and hot buffet carts will keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot, ensuring that food remains appetizing and appealing. Hospitality carts will allow staff to offer snacks and beverages in residents' rooms when family members are visiting, particularly during difficult or stressful times.

These enhancements are designed to increase resident satisfaction with meals and encourage socialization among residents, family members, friends and staff. The changes should also result in better nutrition overall, boosting resident weight and hydration, and lead to a decreased need for supplements.

Jill Nothstine, LSC's director of special projects, will serve as project leader.


Lutheran Services Carolinas is a nonprofit social services ministry providing skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, assisted living, and retirement options to seniors in North Carolina, as well as foster care, adoption, veterans services, mental health services, refugee resettlement services, disaster case management, and residential care for people with disabilities in North and South Carolina. For more, go to

Katie Scarvey
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Tags:Culture Change
Location:Salisbury - North Carolina - United States
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