Student voice concern for hot food services on campus

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Delta College held a student forum on March 14 after a recent outcry of student feedback concerning a change in hot-food service hours at Danner Hall.

The forum was lead by Board of Education Student Representative Marlu Reyes.

To answer student questions the panel consisted of Temporary Director of Student Activities Wendy Byrd, Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development Dr. Angela Tos, Operations Supervisor Michael Williams and Director of Auxiliary Services and Food Services Fidel Cabuena.

One of the most talked about issues during the forum was the lack of food options for students who attend Delta during afternoon hours.

Danner Hall currently only provides breakfast until 11 a.m.

Student Chef operates during the mid point of the semester on Tuesday and Wednesdays, but closes after 1 p.m., leaving vending machines and the bookstore as the only on-campus options for food.

Students openly questioned why this is the case.

“Due to some early retirements and lack of overall funding due to low enrollment the school is unable to sustain a lunch or a dinner program,” said the Delta panel.

Many students and faculty expressed frustration with the lack of alternatives in places for students here at Delta.

One faculty member was Culinary Arts Professor, Robert Halabicky, who offered some alternative solutions to the pending issue such as possibly having more food trucks available during the week instead of just Fridays. Concern over enrollment was also brought up.

Concrete numbers weren’t available at the time of the forum.

“If you don’t hold me to these numbers when Delta was at its peak there was roughly 25,000 … we are currently at 13 to 14, 000,” said Williams.

Other concerns included the lack of vegan options available.

“I’m a four-year vegetarian and transitioning to vegan, I’ve been to Danner and the bookstore and there aren’t many green options, sure I could eat chips and pastries and junk food but when it’s raining I want something hot,” said Megan Lynne. Lynne continued saying all the salads come prepackaged with meat so it’s hard for her to eat.

Williams said many of the student store products do come from a third-party company that provides food to the student store and Danner Hall.

“It would really just be about sitting and discussing what you’re looking for,” said Williams is response.

Reyes expressed a desire to continue doing the forums.

“I want to keep doing them so we can make sure that student input is heard,” said Reyes of the two-hour event.