October 16, 2012
Marta Ruggles, District Manager

Feed the Difference 2012, what a day!!
It is overwhelming to see what the MG team did on October 9th. I could feel the love of LOCAL food, people and serving others from NC to PA!!
My week included FTD x 2.  On Sunday night, I attended a Farm to Table fundraiser for The Haven. The Haven is a day shelter for Homeless men and women in Charlottesville, VA. They provide showers, laundry facilities, computers, etc…as well as breakfast and lunch daily. In addition to donated food, they have a garden they get harvest from year-round.

For dinner, a Chef from a nearby restaurant prepared greens, sweet potatoes and ribs, (produce all from their garden and the C’ville area). It was prepared and served in the same kitchen and dining area that serves the daily clients. Efforts had been made to jazz the space up (since it was a fundraiser) while, at the same time, allowing guests to fully appreciate the mission of The Haven. The combination of preset salads, accompaniments served family style, and high school students serving ribs was just right. As we were welcomed, the Director said “thank you for coming to our house for dinner.  Here we treat everyone with respect, share what we have and waste little.”

A couple of days later, seeing what MG did in our style to recognize local food was inspiring. The “local concept” continues to get lots of attention, as it should. As I thought about these 2 wonderful experiences, it occurred to me that, in general, it would help if there was a lot more focus on waste. No doubt, waste is about money going down the drain…but, more importantly, it’s about good food ending up in the landfill. Waste is about what can be conserved…so all the carbon footprint that goes into getting food to our kitchens is not in vain.

We (MG) do focus on waste – we talk it (give that food an encore!), train it (record leftovers!), and we have weighed the waste in some locations, all of which is good. But, can we do more?
My take away from the Farm to Table meal at the Haven and our FTD: I commit to focusing more on waste…asking and thinking about how we can waste less every day.  It is not just about food cost, it is about appreciating the food that comes into our hands, and realizing that some don’t have that gift every day.

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The food is just incredible! I really mean it...I hope you know that I am not just saying this. It's so colorful, fresh, and delicious...so special every day!"

Faculty Member 

Just a note to say thank you for all of the delicious food you and your staff serve each day. I never knew kale could taste so good!


Outstanding food, outstanding service, outstanding people. I brag about MG to my peers at other schools, and even to my friends and family!


Thank you so much for all the gluten-free options this year! All of your staff have been so helpful. They make a point to come up to me at meals and let me know what options you have for that meal. Salads are great, but sometimes a warm meal is just what you need!

Faculty Member 

Thanks for all of the good work you and your team did to ensure that last night’s welcome gathering for new faculty went off without a hitch. I’m so grateful for Team MG working so hard to make sure things are done the right way.

Head of School 

It’s an understatement to say we were surprised by the excellent quality of the food. We could not recall having a better tuna dish, even at the four-star resturants we frequent in Raleigh. Duke Integrative is a special place.


Many times I find a favorite thing out of the many items served during lunch, and although the featured spinach and fruit salad was visually stunning; the SHOUT OUT winner of the day hands down was the very delicious unassuming Vegetarian Pinto Beans!!! The onions were glistening and the peppers served as a complimentary color to the two different shades of beans...I have one regret and that is I didn’t think to take a picture!


Thank you for making pimento cheese today! It not only is divine, but also hit the spot. I now regret wasting 62.5 years of life on this planet in which I did not eat this heavenly mix. As I explore different recipes in my home kitchen I will try my best to live up to the standard demonstrated by what I had today.

Faculty Member 

Everything was wonderful...as usual! The food was scrumptious...and the weather was gorgeous!

Conference Client 

I would not change a thing! Your staff was not only professional, but warm and caring. They truly set the tone for a memorable night. The food was delicious...our family and friends left with hearts and bellies full!

Catering Client 

I just wanted to thank you so much for all the delicious food at Duke. Your food was such a happy and positive experience and it made the days there so much more enjoyable to eat healthy, but tasty, great food.


Thanks for the delicious soup and the new harvest salad - and thanks for removing half the calories out of the Farm Basket brownie...haha.


THANK YOU for your help today with the open house! Our visiting families raved about the personalized environment. We had a student tell us that Guilford went from his 3rd to 1st choice!


Thank you for all of your hard work on the meals and breaks for the Alumnae Board. The food was outstanding; everyone raved about each meal. Favorites included the grits on Saturday morning and the butternut squash soup on Sunday. YUM!!!


The amazing characteristic is that, on a day by day basis, you give us nutritious, varied, interesting, delicious food...not just something special for company. Please know how much you are appreciated and loved by this community.

Conference Administrator