Imagine coming up with a menu to prepare three nutritious and palatable meals a day for your family—on a daily budget of less than $4 per person. That was the daunting challenge Rosemary Trout and her students faced when they set out to improve meals served to 40 formerly homeless men living at St. Columba, a safe haven, subsidized residence operated by Project Home in Philadelphia.
“You want the meals to taste good, you want them to be nourishing and you want them to be something that people are really going to look forward to,” Trout, DHSc, an assistant clinical professor who teaches in the Department of Food and Hospitality Management, says. “You want to treat the men with the value that they have. Life is valuable.”
SATISFACTION—STILL A BIG HIT
Working with students to develop and taste the recipes, Trout allocated more of the limited resources to developing satisfying, communal dinners for the men. For example, lean, white meat chicken with a light sauté, a sweet potato and whole wheat cranberry bread.
The result: an increased Health Eating index score and more high-quality meat—all while reducing the daily cost to $3.90 per person.
FOOD, SERVICE AND ACADEMIA
Trout, who managed restaurants at Disney World in Orlando and EuroDisney in Paris before earning her doctorate in health sciences at Drexel Universityʼs College of Nursing and Health Professions, says that teaching “is what I love most” about her job. The Project Home collaboration fit with her passions for “food, service and academia.
“On a personal level, itʼs very rewarding to help people,” Trout says. “What better way than to do it through food?"