No More Food Bins!

12501556_1735314010015161_1842032342_nNo more food bins delivered to patrols! For SOAR 2017 we’re trying something new – the Quartermaster’s Store. Guiders will be able to ‘shop’ for food for their girls, reducing waste!

We’ve received some questions about the new process. Here is some additional information from Maureen MacKay, Food Services Director for SOAR 2017:

While there will be “bulk” foods available it will not be to the extent that people have been hearing.

If you have been to SOAR previously you will recall that vegetables arrived pre-cut in plastic bags, this time the Guider will be able to pick up their own needed amounts of carrots, celery, etc. unprocessed (also avoiding preservatives that are known allergens) . Fruit will also be bulk pick up to suit the needs of the patrols.   That is where the main part of using bulk comes in.  No foods will be in bins with scoops and all the foods purchased have an ingredient sheet and allergen list provided by the supplier.

The idea of using “cheaper” bulk foods is not the issue we are trying to address; the foods will still be name brands but the option to choose amounts will be the factor we are aiming for to reduce waste.  Portioning will include several sizes of amounts to allow the Guiders to take what their patrol needs.  Portioning is done a single item at a time, never several at once to avoid cross contamination.

As in previous SOARs there will be a Special Needs Area that people who have noted allergies will find items to substitute for their needs.  The Special Dietary Needs coordinator will have a list of people who can shop in this area and she will be contacting people once the health forms come in to ensure she has product available to cover needs.

The main change will be that the Guider will do the food pick up for the patrol. If an item is not needed she simply does not pick it up.  If a substitute is available, then she will pick that up from the Special Needs Area.  If your entire patrol needs to have substitutions to avoid cross contamination, we can do that; if it is only the girl with the allergies then I am suggesting bringing a smaller shopping bag for her food.

This is a major change and we are looking at all the possible problems that could arise.
I have been the Special Dietary Needs coordinator for the last 5 SOARs so I am aware of the difficulties of keeping the girls food safe in a camp setting and the new procedure is being set up with constant monitoring to ensure it is the safest we can make it.