Student Food Committee Meeting Notes

Dining Services Student Food Committee Meeting
October 11, 2016
Driscoll Dining Hall
Start: 6:08 p.m.–Adjourned:  6:55 p.m.
Sharon Marceau Minutes

Robert Volpi                                                              Gabe Wexler
Gayle Donohue                                                         Jordan Fields
Mark Thompson                                                        Franny Dean
Molly O’Brien                                                             Nick Gardner
Joey McClain
Paul Franchini
Jerry Byers
Lisa Champagne
Chris Moresi

Bob V. – Started the meeting by asking for a roundtable of introductions and that Dining values these meetings for student input. Food is a major part of campus life and managers and chefs supporting it is key.  Then turned over the meeting to Gabe as chair.

Gabe W. – Gave an update on meeting with Bob and talked about more student feedback on recipes/dishes. Michael R. was not in attendance to provide status of app’s suggestion box.  Bob V suggested the use of a white board in Dining Halls for students to write on before they left—student IPhone app up and running but suggestions not being fed anywhere.  Gayle to follow up with Web Ops on feedback portion.

Nick G. – Likes the white board idea that is right there and quick and to the forefront before you leave the dining hall.

Jordan F. – Perhaps suggestion cards on the tables with pencils vs. the current set up on way out.

Franny D. – She likes the idea of the app for anonymity.

Joey M. – All ideas would be good to reach all student audience.

Gabe W. – # of downloads—feedback feature activated and where data goes

Gayle D. – Dining Administration/Web Ops

Joey M. – inquired if immediate feedback was available for the dining halls?

Nick G. – Student App needs to do a better campaign to spread the word and advertise/market

Jordan F. – suggested posters @checker’s station

Bob V. – What students do we work with?

Gabe W. – Nate and Mike R. will send email as follow up

Bob V. – Set up an appointment to meet and contact Sharon M.

Gayle D. – Nate was original creator met with him. Currently we are not collecting any data.  Will follow up with Russ in Web Ops

Bob V. – Data is being translated into the app from our cycle menu

Lisa C. – Static menus, such as ’82 Grill and Snack Bar are not available on the App

Chris M.—Halal options are not being transferred to the app correctly and are appearing as available all the time. Halal options are available upon request.

Gabe W. – moved to the topic of labels. Asked if they could contain more information such as Vegetarian/Vegan—Gabe brought examples of labels from Middlebury and created a label with idea of what it should look like and see if it could go through Bartender and our current system.

Bob V. – Our current labeling system stresses the importance of labeling for food with allergens to keep it clean with proper identifiers.

Gayle D. – in the past too much information on the labels slows down the line.

Jerry B. – Suggested one label with a QR code which students could scan then select and narrow down selections to the dish they were inquiring about to receive all nutritional ingredients.

Bob V. – currently students access recipe and ingredient information through Net Nutrition which does not feed to the app

Jerry B. – The QR code on the description card would help to scan for ingredients and portions and can be a small icon

Bob V. – We will have Whitmans’ test pilot the code and check back to see how it is going.

Jordan F. – Could we also provide a local symbol or identifier on the label? Like local produce used at all campus events.

Jordan F. – Do we work with local farms before the growing season on what we will require through the growing season? Any current contracts in place?

Mark T. – Talk with Peace Valley Farm in the Spring and forecast for growing in May and revisit again in July about Harvest dinner. We know historically what we need and we also have discussions on overgrow for the year and how we can utilize in our menus, e.g. tomatoes for sauce, etc.

Jordan F. – Sounds like you are already implementing local fully

Paul F. – We also use many other farms such as Dave’s melons and Paradise Farms and at times chefs will re-write the menus to incorporate their current produce

Molly O. – Perhaps we could better advertise the use of local somehow

Mark T. – Also we utilize Winter Sun after fresh seasons runs out—vegetables are blast frozen after fresh and stored until use.

Jordan F. – Question, has lettuce from farm in Central MA been used in menus yet?

Mark T. – Lettuce was from Marty’s Best and the price was not expected. We are currently looking at Little Leaf Farms in Fort Devens, MA and still researching.

Jordan F. – Is there a $3 fee applied when students do not have their card.

Sharon M. – Yes, there always has been a $3 fee when students do not have their card and the checker has to hand enter the student number. It was brought to the forefront of our web site and has caused many inquiries, but procedure has remained the same.

Nick G. – Reported that Dartmouth and now Middlebury have been in contact with Williams for advice on Industrial beef reduction

Mark T. – We have incorporated the changes into our Fall menu cycles and made the switch on casserole dishes to local, hormone and antibiotic free ground beef and have gone to a grass-fed, grain-finished beef for burgers when beef is in the rotation.

Lisa C. – Asked students for feedback on changing hours at the Whitmans’ Late Night Program from 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to allow staff a dinner break at the same time. There are approximately 30 students who dine between 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Jordan F. – Was concerned with any athletes who eat at that time.

Lisa C. – If you could talk to students and bring it up at College Council and we could try in January.

Jordan F. – We could check with students and report back any concerns.

Nick G. – students will be understanding of the need, if you could just make sure signage is labeled appropriately why the change is being implemented.

Bob V. – Looking for feedback from the expanded hours in Grab and Go.

Jerry B. – We have expanded the hours 2 days a week until 5 p.m.

Bob V. – The expanded hours has come by suggestion from the Great Ideas Committee. Grab and Go has extended service to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday.

Nick G. – Why were the hours expanded?

Gayle D. – To help close the food gap with the meal plan.

Gayle D. – Students are helping to staff between 2-5 p.m.

Gabe W. – Sounds Good. Anything else tonight?

Jordan F. – Just wanted to say thank you for getting crunchy peanut butter back

Joey M. – Mission park was having a special Latino Heritage Dinner next week on Thursday with an authentic menu

Gabe W. – Thank you everyone. Meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Next meeting on November 8th at 6 p.m. in Paresky 220