Build a foundation

Identify Your Food Service Guidelines Team
and Engage Leadership

Online meeting

A solid foundation is built with the assistance of leaders, internal champions, and key partners. The number and type of representatives for your food service guidelines team may depend on the scale of your efforts. For example, adopting food service guidelines at one food service location may require a different team than adopting the guidelines across multiple settings and/or food venues.

The food service guidelines team can:

  • Conduct a baseline assessment of food services.
  • Create an implementation plan with goals, strategies, and timelines.
  • Develop language to include food service guidelines in purchasing requests for proposals.
  • Provide technical assistance on food service guidelines.
  • Monitor implementation.
  • Evaluate progress.
  • Communicate potential positive changes throughout the agency.

To put food service guidelines into practice, you will need to engage people from various groups. Form your food service guidelines team by choosing representatives from different functional areas. Consider the contributions and expertise each member can bring to the group. Be sure to select persons representing the various cultures of your population to provide advice about food and beverage options. Also, don’t forget to engage institutional leadership when possible; their buy-in will contribute to the long-term success of your efforts. You may want to consider inviting people from the following groups to be a part of your team:

  • Agency leaders
  • Public health department staff
  • Building facilities manager
  • Wellness coordinator
  • Purchasing director
  • Legal department staff
  • Food service staff
  • Nutrition experts
  • Evaluation staff
  • Food vendors, including those in the Blind Entrepreneur Program
  • Leadership at state agency for licensed blind vendors (Randolph-Sheppard Act1)
  • State Committee of Blind Entrepreneurs
  • Employees of affected worksites
  • Representatives of various cultures of your population

Leaders. Leaders are essential for long-term sustainability of food service guidelines implementation. Leadership support will help you surmount obstacles, ensure availability of financial and other resources, and open networks for negotiating parameters and enlisting others who can help your efforts. Leaders can communicate your vision to other decision-makers (such as upper management) whose support may be necessary to achieve optimal results. Leaders can come from within your agency/institution, food service management companies, building facilities management and more.

Internal Champions. Anyone can champion the implementation of food service guidelines. Champions are people who use their expertise and professional contacts to promote the use of best practices such as food service guidelines. They help ensure that implementation of food service guidelines is supported in the organization and that resources are allocated appropriately. Champions can be helpful participants throughout the process. Governors, mayors, local council members, wellness coordinators, and public health staff have all championed the adoption and implementation of food service guidelines.

Key Partners. You may need to develop partnerships with people and groups outside of your organization that share your goal. The key to a successful partnership is that both partners bring something to the table — knowledge, skills, or resources — and stand to benefit in some way from the success of the project. Key partners may include health and wellness consultants, food service management companies, food distributors or manufacturers, and/or local producers.

1The Randolph-Sheppard Act [34 CFR Part 395-Vending Facility Program for the Blind on Federal and Other Property] is a federal law that provides individuals who are blind a priority to operate vending facilities (such as cafeterias, snack bars, and vending machines) on government property.