Leaders address concerns about food service at Willow Point Nurs - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Leaders address concerns about food service at Willow Point Nursing Home

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- Leaders are addressing possible health risks related to the food at a nursing home in our area. 

Residents at the Willow Point Nursing Home have complained about meals they find unacceptable. The company providing those meals is Aramark. 

"There's some of the food that I have to be honest with you, I wouldn't feed to my dog," Rose Smith, one of the nursing home residents, said. "It's almost every day, the only thing that's good about it is my breakfast. I can get what I want to eat at breakfast, and I always eat everything 'cause I don't know what's coming for lunch."

Some of the concerns from both the county and leaders at the nursing home, include meals being served late, and ones that are either too hot or too cold. 

"They're sometimes sitting around waiting for their meals to arrive to the point where some have declined to eat, they're tired of waiting, this has again an impact on their daily lives, they have things they wanna do, places they wanna be, they can't do that when their meal is late," Ryan LaClair, the Nursing Home administrator said.

In 2015, a contract was signed between Broome County and the private company Aramark to provide food services at the nursing home. it started serving the facility in 2016. 

Ryan LaClair took over as administrator in 2017. 

"In the last months Ryan has uncovered some major problems with the contract that we have with Aramark to provide food to the residents we have here at Willow Point," Broome County Executive Jason Garnar explained. 

LaClair told the media at a news conference Monday that he has been working with Aramark leaders to solve some of these issues. 

In a statement to 12 News, Aramark leaders said: 

"We share the County's dissatisfaction with the performance at Willow Point and are committed to working together to improve and deliver high quality service like we strive to do for all our customers. We are taking action with the County to address the issues and have already made investments to correct the operations and infrastructure. We appreciate the partnership with the County and look forward to continued constructive dialogue to jointly resolve any outstanding problems or concerns."

Many at the nursing home are hoping for change.

"They said we could have a hot dog if we didn't like what was on the menu, well I waited and I waited and it didn't come so I went to my room, because that's how it goes," Smith added. 

On January 26 Garnar sent a letter asking for a meeting with Aramark executive representatives to discuss the issues. Broome County Legislature Chairman Dan Reynolds also signed the letter. 

Garnar says he will be meeting with the executives Tuesday. The leaders of Aramark were not invited to be part of the news conference Monday. 

Aramark also works with food services at the Broome County Jail and the Broome County Office for Aging. According to Garnar there have been no issues with any of the other services. 

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