Meal transfer policies limit time to pick up food

Meal transfers
Jordan Higgins (left) and Paige Homyak pick up their meal transfers in the Den. — Emily Novotny/ TRUMPET

New meal transfer policies are being enforced this year and may take some adjusting, but are for the benefit of the system as a whole, Margaret Empie, director of dining and retail services said.

The policy implemented last May Term states that students have 20 minutes after their meal transfer is scheduled to pick it up, but after that 20 minute period the food will be disposed of and no longer available for pickup.

“We do it because we want the food quality to be good, and also because the webfood system allows us to have a good flow in the kitchen,” Empie said.

Empie said the policies are in place to help even out the system.

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“In the past we haven’t abided by our own rules, and that’s not how the system is designed to work,” Empie said.

Alexandra Ciota said the change isn’t a huge inconvenience, but she can see where it could increase waste for the college up front.

“At first I think I can see more waste being produced because students aren’t used to it, but we just need to increase our accountability and realize that if we don’t eat it, it’s going to waste,” Ciota said.

Empie said she hasn’t heard any negative buzz around campus concerning the new policies.

“Usually by the time it gets to me a student will come in, or staff will get frustrated and talk to me about the issue,” Empie said. “Nobody’s talked to me about it yet this year.”

Empie said she is aware of the issues surrounding the times available for the meal transfers and there are other options.

“Sometimes if students really can’t eat at a certain time, I might suggest to them that they use the sack lunch system,” Empie said.

From 6:30 to 9:45 a.m. students can go into the Mensa and use a board swipe for lunch or dinner, or both and take food to go. This is typically a sandwich, though Empie said sometimes they will do casseroles or soups or cold pizza to be heated up later.

“We’ve actually added meal transfer times over the last couple years because I wanted students be able to eat later because some students’ schedules are really crammed together,” Empie said, “I don’t want students to skip meals.”

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