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Village Shalom Residents Embark On A Cultural Exploration Through Food


Food is a pillar of every culture. The ingredients, the preparation, the manner in which it is eaten – all are dependent on a region’s natural resources and the customs of those who inhabit it. It can be difficult to truly understand another culture, but if you ask Morrison Community Living, immersing oneself in the native food is a great way to begin.    

A Meal in the Life is a 12-month journey into the traditions of 12 of the world’s great cultures. It incorporates a multi-faceted approach with dining, activity programming and social media components to fully immerse residents in a new culture each month. The global culinary campaign is a company-wide initiative of Morrison Community Living. Morrison partners with more than 450 retirement communities throughout the country and has been Village Shalom’s dining services partner since 2014. 

A resident reviews her A Meal in the Life recipe book. The book features an overview of each featured culture along with an area to store recipe cards for favorites from each culture’s themed meal.

“It’s really opened our residents’ eyes,” said Village Shalom Programs Coordinator, Zenette Kearney. “They’ve been really tuned-in, as it has given them a glimpse into another culture that most didn’t know much about.”  

Village Shalom kicked off A Meal in the Life in November with The Traditions of the Native Americans.  Residents enjoyed a four-course meal featuring traditional Native American fare including Three Sister’s Soup, pecan-encrusted trout, hominy casserole and pumpkin apple spice cake. North American tribal trivia along with Native American dance and documentary films provided the programming supplement to help residents discover the history and customs of the culture.  

The program also provides residents with a recipe book where recipe cards for cuisine from the monthly themed meals can be stored as a keepsake or to share with loved ones. As the year goes on, Morrison plans to expand the recipe program so Village Shalom employees may submit a traditional favorite during the month in which their culture is featured. 

Village Shalom’s Nutrition Care Manager, Lindsey Myers, will champion the initiative by serving as its Cultural Ambassador.  She will work to identify cultural education and activity opportunities and keep residents engaged through action stations and informative “Chef’s Table” seminars. She’ll also facilitate the social media component through Morrison’s company-wide A Meal in the Life Facebook community. 

Lindsey Myers introduces the A Meal in the Life program to Village Shalom resident, Gerry Salvay. Myers will serve as the initiative’s Cultural Ambassador to identify educational and activity opportunities to help enrich the program. 

“I think it will be a great learning experience for our residents and our staff,” said Myers. “The programming component will help to engage our residents, and our cooks will have the opportunity to expand their horizons by learning new types of cuisine.” 

To learn more about A Meal in the Life, visit its Morrison Facebook community at