Virtua Voorhees Hospital Becomes Unlikely Facebook Sensation for its Delicious Meals
Defying stereotypes about “hospital food,” recent social post sparks rave reviews for cafeteria and its culinary staff
November 4, 2023 - When it comes to social media, it’s nearly impossible to know what will capture people’s attention and cause a viral sensation. Staff at Virtua Health, South Jersey’s largest health system, were taken by surprise when a Facebook post about its quality, affordable, and consistently delicious cafeteria food earned more than 1,100 likes in 24 hours and prompted more than 700 users to post glowing reviews.
“Our food services team is absolutely delighted by all the kind messages they have received. I have always believed the food they prepare rivals that of any restaurant – and it appears many of our neighbors feel the same way,” said Paul Minnick, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, president of Virtua Voorhees and Virtua Marlton hospitals and senior vice president for Virtua Health.
“Much like our clinical staff, who put their heart into providing excellent medical care, our food services team gives their absolute best to nourish our patients, their families, and fellow staff,” he added.
The heartwarming digital recognition began when an anonymous person posted a two-sentence message on the Facebook group “South Jersey Food Scene.” With emojis added for emphasis, the post reads: “Please don’t judge me, but I like to eat lunch at Virtua hospital in Voorhees. They have the best sushi and it’s cheap.”
Within two hours, the post earned more than 400 reactions (mostly thumbs up and hearts) and a stream of comments from other Facebook users with equally favorable opinions of the food. Examples include:
- “Let’s talk about those sugar cookies!”
- “That cafeteria SLAPS.”
- “The hummus is the best and can’t find any like it.”
- “I had the best quesadilla of my life there.”
The hospital meals especially seemed to resonate with people who had previously delivered a baby at the Voorhees facility – or who are scheduled to give birth soon. Comments include:
- “I tell my husband that the cake makes me consider [having] a third baby.”
- “I was excited to have my twins because of the chicken salad on a croissant I was going to have every day for lunch!”
- “I’ve been thinking about those pancakes ever since my son was born.”
- “As someone whose due date was yesterday and eventually will deliver there, this is great news. Lol.”
In addition to reviewing the food, several comments mentioned the friendly, welcoming staff who work to prepare, serve, and transport the meals.
“Running a hospital is really a team sport,” Minnick said. “Each person contributes to our ability to provide care to the community. And we believe food is its own form of medicine.”
In fact, Virtua Health is a leader in community-based food access programs. The not-for-profit health system’s award-winning “Eat Well” initiative makes fresh, affordable foods more readily available in under-resourced South Jersey neighborhoods. This includes the year-round Eat Well Mobile Grocery Store, a one-aisle supermarket on wheels that visits apartment complexes, community centers, and other high-traffic places in Burlington and Camden counties.
Virtua Health’s president and CEO, Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, was recently named one of Modern Healthcare’s Top Innovators of 2023 in large part because of Eat Well and Virtua’s overall commitment to health equity.
As for the feel-good Facebook post, it continues to gain momentum – with new comments added every hour. As one user summed up nicely: “This is awesome. THIS is why social media is so fun.”