Laurie Maurino, R.D.
Departmental Food Administrator, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
President of ACFSA
What are your goals as the President of ACFSA?
As president of ACFSA, my goals are to increase exposure to our Association. I want to increase our membership especially a younger audience. Young people rely on social media for interaction. We want to appeal to them to join a professional organization and be involved in the leadership.
I also want to partner with other professional organizations like the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), American Correctional Association (ACA), American Jail Association (AJA) and National Restaurant Association (NRA) to let them know who we are and how we can work together to improve the correctional field.
Are there any new benefits or features ACFSA has introduced lately?
This year, ACFSA is starting to provide educational webinars for our members. We have one scheduled for October 15, 2015 at 11:00 PST on the Norovirus. This will be given by Dr. Ruth Petran of Ecolab. These webinars will start to be offered on a quarterly basis.
What is a common challenge within your industry?
Our common challenge is doing more with less. Food budgets are constantly shrinking and staff is harder to come by. There is a nationwide shortage of people who want to work in correctional foodservice. Every segment is having difficulty filling any vacancies. Working in correctional food service requires back ground checks and many do not pass. In the meantime, our work force is aging and we need to recruit the younger generation.
What legacy would you like to leave from being ACFSA’s President?
Another challenge is providing religious diets to inmates in correctional facilities. There is federal statutes that require freedom of religion in prisons. So we are obligated to serve some religious diets. This further compounds our budgetary and logistical constraints. Most places are now serving kosher, halal and vegetarian options.
I would like to leave a legacy of providing more education to our members in the form of webinars and on-line libraries. I would also like to start lasting relationships with some other professional organizations like NSA, ACA and AJA.
What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
The best meal I have eaten was recently at Dal Rae Restaurant in Pico Rivera, CA. The restaurant has an 60’s “Mad Men” type décor and offered some of the most delicious food ever!