Overcoming the Odds to Give Back: 2023 ANFP Student Grant Winner

A Hormel Health Labs ANFP Student Grant recipient reflects on the power of food to provide comfort, and on beating the odds.

Every year, Hormel Health Labs partners with the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) to present the Hormel Health Labs Student Grant to foodservice professionals looking to further their education and involvement. For many recipients, this very grant is the deciding factor in whether or not they will be able to pursue their dream career. To that end, one of this year’s recipients, Stacie Green couldn’t believe it was happening to her. She remarked that “[receiving this grant] alone was a blessing. It will open doors for me that I never thought possible.”

Achieving the (Seemingly) Impossible

Stacie has faced real challenges. “I wasn’t a good student in school, and as a result of that and a difficult life at home, the only option for me was an alternative school,” she says. Despite her complicated childhood and several roadblocks over the course of her education, one of Stacie’s constants was her work in foodservice.

She started in fast food, then transitioned to a public school district where she worked her way up to a management position. Stacie says, “I have pretty much always worked in foodservice. My whole life, 30 plus years.” After working for public schools for several years, she took on a new position in a pediatric hospital’s food and nutrition department. Not long after, she was promoted to Room Service Supervisor. “That is when I really knew I belonged,” she recalls. Stacie knew then and there that her calling was encouraging and assisting patients in recovery through nutrition.

Providing Comfort and Hope

Stacie is excited to be using her grant to become a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional. As a CDM, CFPP, she will work with Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to provide quality nutritional care in a variety of non-commercial settings, manage foodservice operations, and ensure food safety. In addition, a CDM, CFPP may be responsible for the implementation of menus, foodservice purchasing, and food preparation.

Stacie has now been working at a children’s hospital, Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas, for 17 years. As a Room Service Supervisor, she supervises a staff of 29 cooks and ambassadors. Given the nature of her profession, she admits keeping her staff’s spirits high can sometimes be a challenge, but ultimately she believes that food is medicine; that belief makes it all worth it. “It makes me happy to deliver a meal, especially to a child,” she says. “They can smile; we can provide a little comfort on a rotten day.”

A Vision for Her Future

Stacie has already accomplished more than she once thought possible. Now, with the help of the Hormel Health Labs grant, she’s setting her sights even higher–she wants to pursue director-level work. “This grant will give me opportunities I never had before. Otherwise, I never would have been able to do it.”