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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an RN and have an idea of making healthy, good meals and delivering them to elderly people and people with disabilities. I currently work in a long term care facility and the food there has a lot to be desired. Food for many of these people, is one of the last pleasures they have, and the food is not pleasurable. (Sometimes not edible). My thought would be to make meals and deliver to residents of long term care, as well as people in the home. What are your thoughts on how to begin?

I'm not a chef, but can cook good Southern food, (without the added salt and pork fat) that would be pleasing to the eye, delicious, and healthy. 

Many of the people I take care of don't eat because the food is not what they were accustomed to. I feel that, for these people, good tasting, healthy food would increase their quality of life as well as nutrition. 

Many family members bring in food to the facility.  Some of it is fast food. Some is home cooked. I know that family members take food to their loved one's home, also. My proposal, is to make simple but delicious meals. These meals would comply with the person's health needs, such as low salt, or sugar free, be delivered by our service, and be affordable. 

I even thought of helping people who do not have the finances for delivered meals, by stating that for each meal bought by a family member, a percentage would go to those who could not afford the service. 

My goal would be to create a fulfilling business for my husband and myself, by improving the quality of life for our weakest population. I don't know what the start up costs would be, or even how to start. I'm sure that there are many things to starting a business like this that I would never have thought of. Is there anyone that could give me advice, tips, or resources for this endeavor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think the food squeaks by as far as regulations go. But residents don't really want over cooked broccoli and chicken tenders, or heavily salted chicken soup. I know that food can be healthy as well as taste good, and be pleasing to the eye. Who wants their food served on stainless steal plates with a faded maroon cover. I actually cook good southern food with no added salt, and very little fat. Ok, butter is really good in mashed potatoes, and some smoked turkey can add a lot of flavor to some collards. But all in all, many substitutes can be used in cooking southern food to make it more healthy. And no, residents probably don't care if it is healthy, but their family members do. And so does the doctor taking care of them. From that standard I've been looking into programs to become a licensed Registered Dietitian. That way I would have the training. 

This is a very rural area and the mean income is fairly low when compared to the rest of the United States. Not sure yet if we could provide the service and have an income. I'm researching what insurance may pay for. Still in the beginning stages of the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here is another thing that I though of, when the subject of a licensed kitchen came up. What about partnering with a kitchen that is already set up; as in a restaurant or maybe a church kitchen. My thought is to rent a kitchen on the off times and use it to cook the meals. As I said, this is a very rural area and businesses or churches may like the extra income. Maybe the thought of delivery would be too expensive, given the area we would have to cover. 

We are not really looking into mail order food (yuck). But freshly made food. And food from the available resources we have in our area. There is a local farmer's market that sells in bulk. The resident's I take care of can get food from anywhere they please (or have access to). Some have families bring in fast food. Some families bring home cooked food when they can. These are by far the exceptions to the rule. Of course, there are people who are still at home that might benefit from a local service. 

Gosh, it seems that food is such a basic part of our existence. It affects us physically and psychologically. It doesn't have to be fancy, just look good, and taste good, and probably be what the person is used to eating, including comfort food. Growing up in the South, I think I know what people like. I also know that some of the not so healthy recipes can be altered (a little) to be more healthy and adhere to the type of diet prescribed by their provider. 
 
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