Friday, July 8, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress part 5

Dining at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Let us first look at the menu's.
Recently the style of meals changed, from American style to European style. Meaning that we used to have a light lunch followed by a big dinner. Now they serve a big lunch, followed by a light dinner.

In the Mornings, we have a basic schedule that is the same week in and week out.
Pancakes one day, French toast another, scrambled eggs another, omelet another, Fried eggs,one day, and various other things the other 2 days.

All food is pre-cooked, and comes from Gordons Food Service, a big supplier of foods to local businesses. GRH4V merely warms it up. Except for the fried eggs, and the hard boiled ones, the scrambled and omelets and other types contain a percentage of powdered eggs. You can taste it. The fried eggs come so cooked, the yokes are almost solid.

We also have various sausages, and breakfast meats, most of which are barely cooked and in some cases are still pink on the inside. That is not good for pork products.

Most meals are served at room temperature, on Heated plates. The only thing that is consistently hot, is the gravy for mashed (powdered) potatoes. What they call hash browns are really little square potatoes. What you and I would call a hash brown, like the kind you get at McDonalds, they call a potato pancake.

Tonight they served Sloppy Joes made out of ground up pork patties. Needless to say most people turned it down, as it tasted like crap. These were the pork pattys that most people rejected the day before.

And until recently the real Sloppy Joes were made with meat that was ground down to the consistency of gruel. The escuse for this was that some members could not chew the meat. Yet the day before they would serve chicken nuggets, chicken fritters, or something like that, which obviously required teeth to chew properly. And lately they have been using pinto beans as a filler in the sloppy joe mix.

And speaking of chicken. Chicken is a basic staple here. We get it 5 to 10 times a week, either as the main item in a meal at lunch or dinner, or as an alternate. 3 weeks ago we had it 8 times, and 7 times last week. This week it is down to 5 times.

And speaking of alternates. One of the alternates of the major item for a meal here, is a Peanut Butter sandwich. A number of times over the last 3 months, a piece of low sodium cheese was the alternate item.

The soups here are filled with tomatoes. I had vegetable soup last week. In the bowl I counted 10 pieces of corn, 9 pieces of green bean, 5 onion, 6 potato and the rest of the chunks, all 67 were tomatoes. And the pepper! OWCH.. too much damn pepper in the soups.

Too many of our meals, are Tomato based, or where tomatoes are used as a filler.
Like chicken, we are getting tired of tomatoes.

The beef stew is tomato based, not beef based.

For 4th of July special lunch we had Ribeye Steak that was 3/16ths inch thick. For dinner we had pork chops that were 1/2 inch thick, and actually tasty for a change.
We also got a wedge of watermelon, the first time this year.

The usual vegetables are Mashed potatoes, Green or wax beans, some times mixed vegetables, or broccoli, rarely do we get asparagus or just plain corn.

We get a lot of fruit cocktail, Diced pears or peaches, apple sauce,Apples, bananas, oranges and the like. SOFT FOODS in other words. Oh, and stale bread that is individually wrapped.

Rarely do we get real solid foods. That is why most of us walk around with perpetual gastritis, I.e. Flagellating tails. Everyone tooting away as if they ate a steady diet of baked beans.

The Dining hall has specific hours of operation, but the crew opens when it feels like it, usually late. They close right on time though. Some times we have waited an extra 20 minuets to be able to eat our meals.

Now not everyone here eats in the dining hall. Many members have their meals brought to their wards, where they eat. Then they come down to the main hall and get another meal, or they raid the salad bar (when we have one).

And this place complains about the amount they are spending on meals. They refuse to go to a scanner system, which can check our ID cards. Well, I guess they can go stuff it then, cause if they don't want to do what needs to be done, they should shut the F--k up and stop bitching about the costs.

Now some of our people don't even get fed during regular hours! Case in point, recently they served pizza. The second time this year, and a rare meal. Dinner goes from 4.30 to 5.30 pm, and seconds are served at 5.15pm

But some guys have activities that prevent them from getting down to the chow hall until the last 15 Min's of the meal time. One such person went in to get his pizza at 5.20, only to find out "there wasn't any left". But there was. The staff had taken some and hidden it, intending on taking it home for their families. He was told that only 6 people didn't get their pizza that night and that low number was considered acceptable. By whose standard?!! Needless to say, the member went ballistic.

This is not the only incident of staff members stealing from veterans. Because that is what they are doing. We PAY For this stuff, whether we want to or not. If we get any kind of disability payment or pension, the home takes it and leaves us 100 dollars for our own use. So we pay for these cheap meals.

And on weekends it gets worse.
Swedish meatballs(6 of them 1 inch in diameter), noodles, roll and tossed salad for dinner. For lunch polish sausage on bun, fried potatoes (1/2 inch squares) Brussel sprouts, and pineapple with peaches.

Last week we had a Bacon Lettuce and tomato sandwich, noodle soup, apple juice and ice cream. The bacon is 2 slices of 3 inch diameter think cut bacon, and a piece of lettuce. The ice cream isn't even real ice cream, its some kind of odd stuff.

Another favorite of the meal planning staff is to offer chicken salad sandwich or egg salad sandwich, neither of which can be eaten by some members, leaving them with no real alternative.

Some do not like turkey, many are tired of chicken flavored stuff. And eggs? No way.

These morons even have Omelets for dinner some times, despite having heard many complaints about it.

We get spaghetti once in a while, but with Mariana sauce, not spaghetti sauce. Let alone sauce with meat, or mushrooms or vegetables.

And finally. People have been complaining about the food service here for months. There is a nurse on Rankin 3, of whom it is being reported that she worked for the state prison system for 15 years, and claims that they eat better than we do.

It is just plane shameful.

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