Calling all healthy eaters: Help improve cafeteria choices

WooFood Town Hall will be held Jan. 17

December 20, 2012

School and hospital cafeterias becoming WooFood certified

Soon diners at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center cafeterias will be seeing the distinctive WooFood symbol on menu selections that meet criteria for nutrition, quality and flavor. The cafeterias will be joining these local WooFood-certified eateries:

Café Manzi

Coral Seafood

The Flying Rhino

Garden Fresh at St. Vincent Hospital

Le Mirage

The Museum Café at the Worcester Art Museum

Nancy Chang’s

NU Café

SAVOR catering and concessions at the DCU Center

Sweet

WooBerry Yogurt

woofood-logoA recent survey found that 90 percent of UMass Medical School  students would eat at the school and hospital cafeterias more frequently if menu items that are healthful and delicious were more readily available. Now, more such choices are on the way—and cafeteria management wants feedback from the medical school community as to what they want to eat.

In a partnership with the student-founded, student-led organization WooFood, the cafeterias at UMass Memorial Medical Center’s University and Memorial campuses will be making menu changes that qualify them for WooFood certification, becoming an establishment that “makes the healthy choice the easy choice.” To ensure changes are made that meet the wants and needs of cafeteria customers, WooFood invites all members of the medical school and clinical community to participate in a WooFood Town Hall taking place at University Campus on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“WooFood has been given an unprecedented opportunity to work with the cafeterias to improve their menus and make them healthier,” said Mitchell Li, SOM ’13. Founded in August 2010 by Li, Matthew DeWolf, SOM ’14, and Adam Chin, SOM ’14, WooFood certifies restaurants and other dining establishments that are committed to putting food on their menus that is healthful as well as delicious. Eleven Worcester eateries have been certified in less than three years, making the WooFood logo a recognizable and reputable symbol of restaurants’ commitment to a business model that emphasizes patrons’ health along with their palates.

In the first segment of at the upcoming Town Hall, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about WooFood, and how clinicians can use it as a clinical tool. They will also hear from owners and chefs at certified restaurants. In the second segment, UMass Memorial cafeteria managers will be on hand to answer questions and hear what customers want to see in the school and hospital cafeterias.

Best of all, attendees will get to sample culinary favorites from WooFood-certified restaurants. “After all, there’s no better way for people know what WooFood is about than for them to taste the food,” said Li.

Food will be served beginning at 5:45 p.m., followed by the education program at 6 p.m. The cafeteria discussion with audience participation will begin at 7 p.m. RSVP for the Town Hall, which is free and open to the public, at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGFwdHBsalNJaDlVc0RYeW83UDRhMFE6MQ.

Related links on UMassMedNow:

President Caret meets with WooFood founders
WooFood founders win community engagement award
Students help local restaurants create healthy options
MLK Semester of Service Student Awards support local health projects
Learn and Serve grant helps students make a difference