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Saber Healthcare Begins Fresh Bread Program at Communities
Bread is a staple in many dishes, and it is one of the most important foods in our diet. Bread contains many essential vitamins and nutrients, such as fiber, calcium, protein, iron, and B group vitamins.
Here at Saber Healthcare, participating communities have begun to join our Fresh Bread program. This program is about baking bread and other baked goods from scratch with the goal of serving quality meals to our residents.
Chef Moe Elmaher, Vice President of Culinary, played a pivotal role in starting and implementing the Fresh Bread program across the participating Saber communities. He worked alongside Bill Weisberg, Owner of Saber Healthcare Group, who had a vision and goal to make the company’s food program better for our residents.
“One reason we started this program was the chemicals in the store-bought bread are not healthy. We designed a bread recipe that would be as simple as possible,” Chef Moe told us. “I came into this company to make a change. Many of our teams had not experienced making food first class in a nursing home setting, and I wanted to change that. My goal is to invest in the people and talent at this company.”
An example of a homemade pizza made using fresh bread
Another reason that Chef Moe wanted to start this program was because some residents have to manage their weight. He believes that if a resident smelled the fresh bread while it was baking, it will trigger their appetite and make them interested in eating the food. This is immensely helpful for residents who may need assistance eating and managing their weight.
When the Fresh Bread program at Saber began, the leadership teams encouraged the dietary teams to apply and participate. Chad Isabelle, RVPO of the North Carolina region, held the first fresh bread training with the North Carolina administrators and dietitians. The training showed them the ease of making bread in-house and how they could use the tools available to them to achieve making fresh bread for the residents each day. Eventually, this program grew and so did the number of participating communities in the Saber family.
Bread baked using the Fresh Bread recipe
The recipe that the training currently uses encourages the culinary teams to use as few materials as possible. The ingredients that the dietary team uses currently include:
- Bread flour
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable/olive oil
- Active yeast
The benefit of making bread in-house is the dietary teams can control exactly how much bread they produce. This ensures that nothing in the bread making process goes to waste, whereas store-bought bread would need to be thrown out if it expired. The teams are also able to utilize the bread crumbs in desserts or turn the extra bread into a puree.
Another benefit is the fresh bread process can be used to create other types of food items. For example, chocolate powder can be used to make the bread sweeter. The bread can also be cooked into rolls to make other items, such as pizza rolls. The dietary teams have used the fresh bread recipe to create homemade pizza, cinnamon rolls, stuffed dinner rolls, donuts, hot pockets, sweet bread, breadsticks, and more.
Fresh dinner rolls
To monitor the progress of the participating communities, pictures from the dietary teams are submitted to Kym Brenneman, Director of Food and Nutrition. Currently, almost half of the Saber family of communities is on the Fresh Bread program, and 4-5 communities have transitioned away entirely from buying bread from manufacturers.
“In the beginning, many communities at Saber were unsure if the Fresh Bread program would be sustainable for their teams,” Chef Moe said. “However, as positive feedback came to our dietary teams, they realized that they were making a huge difference in the lives of the residents. The morale for the program began to build, and our culinary professionals began to focus on the happiness of the residents.”
In the future, Chef Moe has the vision to expand the program to other food categories, such as vegetables. He believes that this will not only improve the quality of food the participating dietary teams serve, but will also help reduce excess food costs.
“I want people to remember Saber Healthcare as a company that serves quality meals. At Saber, we pride ourselves in serving the residents and making them happier,” Chef Moe said.
Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides services to more than 115 buildings across the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Delaware, and Florida. To learn more about our company and services, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Bread – A nutritious and healthy food.” Federation of Bakers. 10 February 2023. Link: https://www.fob.uk.com/nutrition-and-health/