News: Grab and Go at Cannon and Castle Dining Facility
Story by Capt. Tania Donovan
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A concept of feeding soldiers on the go has come to fruition at the 17th Field Artillery Brigade and 555th Engineer Brigade, Cannon and Castle Dining Facility (DFAC) on Fort Lewis North. Now, the team that developed the concept is being recognized for its hard work.
A team of inspectors traveling from Fort Lee, Va., arrived at the Cannon and Castle DFAC Feb. 11. While all procedures and standards were evaluated, it was the "grab and go" concept, recently revamped at the facility that captured their attention and drew the high ratings.
"The 'grab and go' operation has proven to be a success, feeding on average an additional 270 soldiers a day," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Phillip Saunders, accountable officer for the Cannon and Castle DFAC.
The Food Management Assistance Team (FMAT) conducted the inspection that examined all food service programs on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. According to recent inspections, Cannon and Castle DFAC continues to stand out among the best.
Saunders, has a lot to be proud of as the Cannon and Castle DFAC consistently ranks at the top among seven other facilities, having one of the highest head-counts across JBLM, and putting the needs of soldiers first.
Soldiers can enter the facility from the side entrance and walk directly into a University-style cafeteria kiosk. There, they have a variety of options to choose from.
The wait time? Only five to seven minutes per soldier.
Despite the planning and maintenance challenges of a program like this, it is the vision of soldiers like Sgt. 1st Class Christopher P. Collins, 125th Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, that have driven the program to success.
Collins has worked at the dining facility for almost two years. He has seen Cannon and Castle become the successful DFAC that it is today.
At the heart of the project of the "grab and go" concept are the service members who Collins focuses his attention on serving.
"Soldiers love freshly-made items to go, this is built for them," said Collins.
It is the dedication of food-service specialists like Collins and civilians that work at the facility that makes an impact. Soldiers that work at the dining facility now serve service members on the go from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Particularly at the "grab and go" section, food is available from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Accordingly, Collins was recognized for outstanding service in the "grab and go" area by the FMAT team at the consolidated out-brief on Feb. 13, 2014.