Food Based Morale
April 5, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -Meals Ready to Eat are not the only option service members have to choose from when wanting something to eat. Now, both breakfast and dinner are served at Logistical Support Area Dragon for service members wanting to have a fresh hot meal. Staff Sgt. Calvin Anderson, a food service specialist deployed from U.S. Army South, is in charge of giving the troops an alternative to MRE's.
"The purpose of our job is to put out hot meals to the soldiers on a daily basis," said Anderson.
The containerized kitchen unit currently used is a 20-foot container customized into a kitchen. When closed up, it looks like nothing more than a conex on wheels. It's loaded with equipment such as two refrigerators, two stoves, oven, sink, warming trays, air conditioner and 10k generator.
The containerized kitchen has yet to let them down and they have not, thus far, missed a meal.
"It is working perfectly," said Anderson. "It's performing way beyond the Mobilized Kitchen Trailer that was formerly at Logistical Support Area Dragon. The containerized kitchen puts out a greater quantity of food and holds twice as many people."
In the morning they serve a variety of foods such as eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and donuts. For dinner they have an assortment of foods from steak, chicken, corn, rice and spaghetti.
"We prepare everything," said Anderson. "We make the punch, coffee, food and deserts."
Each day brings a new meal and each day service members line up minutes prior to serving time. They can then take their meal to an air conditioned tent and sit down to relax. They can chat, laugh and talk about the day.
"It's a great improvement from MRE's and Heater Meals," said Senior Airmen Joseph D. Meade, 49th Communication Squadron, communication technician. "...they change it up every day and keep it new."
The Heaters Meals and MRE's are dreaded, said Meade. Knowing that they have a hot meal cooked is a morale booster.
Serving out hot meals for breakfast and dinner has become greatly appreciated among the service members, said Anderson.
"We are thanked on a daily basis," said Anderson. "It feels good to know that we are appreciated and people notice the hard work we put into it every day."