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Nightingale Dining Facility launches Food 2.0 initiatives

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Solomon Cook
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – With the reopening of the Nightingale Dining Facility May 23, Team Scott will now see a change in options and the way that food is being served here.

Previously, Airmen with meal cards were the only ones allowed to eat at the dining facility, with a few exceptions for various holidays or commander support efforts when families and retirees were allowed to eat there.

Now, anyone with a DoD ID card can eat there—to include family members, retirees, and civilian employees to name a few. 

Airmen who are authorized a meal card can be use it at the dining facility and any other food outlet run by the 375th Force Support Squadron, such as the bowling alley, golf course or at Zepplin’s.

This is all part of the Air Force’s food transformation initiative, commonly known as “Food 2.0.”  

“At the DFAC, now there are more variety in meals and healthier options,” said 2nd Lt. Robert Walker, 375th Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight commander. “In the past, we had a main servicing line, a grill and a salad bar. Now, we are offering a noodle house, fresh pizza and rotational dining items that come through on the main line.”

This food initiative may be new to Scott, but it’s the future for all Air Force dining facilities.

“There are a handful of other Air Force bases in [Air Mobility Command] that also transitioned to food 2.0, but [our campus style] is what the Air Force is trying to get everyone else to mirror. This initiative also opens up the dining facility to the rest of the base population, and also gives the meal card Airmen more options,” said Walker.

It also makes a quality of life improvement for shift workers as they will have greater access to sustenance.

“We are also offering ‘simply to go,’ which are prepared meals that are for purchase outside of normal dining periods. This allows shift workers to come in … and actually the DFAC remains open between dinner and breakfast meals,” added Walker.

In addition to a new amenities, civilian professionals within the cooking industry will be working hand-in-hand with the Airmen of the 375th FSS to produce the best food possible.

For the services Airmen, working one-on-one with civilian chefs is the biggest change,” Walker said. “We are learning from them and they are learning from us, so it’s a shared skillset. The Airmen will bounce around and take turns working at different stations. That way you won’t have an Airman who is just a pizza maker. He or she would also be line cooking or working back of house doing prep being trained in all aspects of DFAC operations.”

The DFAC has been closed since the summer of 2018, and Walker said they have received resoundingly positive feedback since opening.

“The last time I ate at a dining facility was at tech school,” said Airman 1st Class Nathanial Hudson, 375th Air Mobility Wing photojournalist. “This one seems to be a lot more user friendly. It’s a lot easier to go in and grab what you want. It’s not like a traditional dining facility, you don’t wait in a long line. It’s a lot quicker and the food quality is better. The amenities – everything is new and shiny. You can tell they put a lot of time and effort into the building.”

Within the Air Force, health, wellness and fitness are the mission of FSS professionals such as Walker.

“The goal in the sustainment service flight is to keep the force ready and fit to fight whether that’s through feeding the Airmen or keeping them physically fit for operations. Keeping people sustained through proper nutrition helps them through their day to accomplish their mission,” he said.