Subsistence employees visited Dover Air Force Base, Delaware April 27 to learn more about the Air Force's Food Transformation Initiative.
The FTI pilot program was launched in 2010 in an effort to provide airmen with more variety and healthier food options, while ensuring that airmen receive training in food service and are ready to deploy.
The FTI was implemented at Dover Air Force Base in the fall of 2015 with the conversion of their dining facility to a college campus-style setup. The initiative allows airmen to use their or meal cards at other venues on base.
The group explored the FTI at a base dining facility, two Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, and a food kiosk on the flight line. The team also took a tour of the kitchen and observed staff preparing food and updating inventory.
“I liked seeing the main dining facility because we got to go back into the kitchen,” said Amanda Holzerman, Subsistence tailored vendor logistics specialist. “It was cool seeing all the products that we manage in the catalog every day on the shelf, like ‘oh yeah we just approved that last week.’”
Subsistence account manager and retired airman William Diaz was impressed by the food kiosk operation.
“We were able to see the kiosk in operation as people were coming in and able to select from healthy wraps, vegetables, salads, to sandwiches and warm meals,” said Diaz. “A lot of times the maintenance people can’t leave their work area because of how critical it is to get an aircraft back in the air, so having the kiosk is really helpful.”
Diaz said it was helpful to meet the staff at the various facilities.
“When you get to meet the staff and meet the people in charge, you can apply ideas that would help them if they are having issues on our side, versus not being able to see them face-to-face,” said Diaz.
The Subsistence team sampled some of the available FTI items for lunch at the renovated Patterson Dining Facility. The facility now includes a salad bar, smoothie station, a Mongolian style grill, and grab-and-go items. They still offer alternatives like pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs.
The FTI is still in the early stages but is gradually being adopted by other Air Force bases. It may also be adopted by other services in the future, said Diaz