The Student Food Initiative is helping Juniata change the way students think about the food they eat. Elly Engle ’12, a junior from Millheim, shares her thoughts on the process:
What originally made you want to start the L.O.V.E. line?
A couple of years ago, a group of students began meeting to discuss ways that we could improve our eating options. We talked about petitioning for a new food provider and exempting ourselves from the on-campus meal plans. Through talks with Hal McLaughlin and Rob Yelnosky, we realized that the best option would be to work with Sodexo to create on-campus options that were accessible to all students. We know that the environmental, nutritional and ethical consequences of what we eat aren’t always on the mind of every student, but we hope that the L.O.V.E. Line might get students thinking about these things more often.
How has Sodexo been throughout the process?
Sodexo has been absolutely wonderful! Honestly, we were originally worried about what restrictions we would run up against, but they have been open to just about every suggestion we’ve thrown their way. Hal McLaughlin has met with us several times over the past year to put the line together logistically, and Executive Chef, Patrick Goodman, has been wonderful in implementing our visions. Sodexo is allowing us to request what recipes the Student Food Initiative club would like to see featured in the line, and is currently allowing us to come in between meal hours to decorate.
Do you feel that the line is doing well?
While there have been a couple negative reviews (i.e. too little food, not open enough), most students that I’ve talked to say that the Line’s food has passed their expectations. Hopefully advertising and the new directions will help with what I think is the biggest problem: awareness. The line is doing well now, but if more students knew what options were offered and what hours it operated, I believe the line would be doing even better.
What has been the most surprising part of the process?
The most surprising part has been the ease with which this project has taken place. Between the support from the administration and Sodexo, the process has gone extremely well. There has also been more initial support from the student body than the Student Food Initiative was expecting — which is wonderful.
What environmental changes would you like to see (either in Baker or campuswide)?
In Baker, I would like to see more produce from local farms (ones from Huntingdon and the surrounding counties), but not just in the L.O.V.E. Line. A campuswide composting program would also be a great addition, because it would provide additional fertilizer for the new farm and significantly reduce Juniata’s waste. Lastly, community outreach programs, like composting and gardening workshops, would be a great way for students to meet community members and spread Juniata’s enthusiasm for environmental stewardship.
-Erin Kreischer’13, Juniata Online Journalist