For National Dysphagia Awareness Month this June, Hormel Health Labs has partnered with Rochester, MN restaurant Jersey Jo’s to help them add several dysphagia-friendly meals to their menu.
Dysphagia, also known as swallowing difficulty, is not uncommon, and often accompanies other adverse health events, such as strokes or cancer, and can affect more than 40% of those in skilled nursing facilities.
“We wanted to work with a local restaurant to help provide a normal dining experience for those challenged by dysphagia, and give them the delight of being able to eat out at a restaurant once again,” said Tim Garry, registered dietitian and director of marketing for Hormel Health Labs. “Often times, those with dysphagia can wind up eating foods that are bland and uncreative, but we wanted to show that that doesn’t always have to be the case.”
For Jersey Jo’s, the partnership made a lot of sense, especially due to their proximity to a world-class health system with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
“When we initially started these conversations, my wife and I weren’t familiar with dysphagia, but after learning how common it can be with those in hospitals or healthcare facilities, we got excited about finding ways to help these people enjoy dining again and spice up their meal options”, said Jersey Jo’s owner Joe Phillips.
The dysphagia-friendly menu items include Jersey Jo’s specialties—beef and chicken cheesesteaks—made using Hormel Health Labs’ THICK & EASY® 100% Natural Minced Meats. The menu items will be available throughout the entire month of June.
This partnership is just one of many ways Hormel Health Labs worked to spread awareness of dysphagia during National Dysphagia Awareness Month, including a dysphagia-friendly ice cream truck, webinar sponsorships, and live social media cooking demos.
More Accessible Cheesesteaks? Yes Please!
Minnesota’s KIMT3 news station visited Jersey Jo’s to see for themselves how this partnership is helping those challenged by swallowing difficulties.