MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Student Association wants the University of Minnesota to switch from an outside dining service vendor to a self-operated dining service.
The recommendation was prompted by the upcoming expiration of the university’s contract with food supplier Aramark, Minnesota Daily reported . The university’s partnership with the vendor began in 1998 and the current contract will expire in 2020.
The university is the only publicly owned Big Ten university to have a contract with an outside vendor.
The association recommended the university operate their own dining services in order to better cater to students’ needs. The association discussed nutrition, sustainability and dietary restrictions when formulating the proposal.
The association’s dining subcommittee also recommended extending dining hall hours, offering better quality fresh produce, finding more ways to be sustainable and creating an on-campus grocery store.
“The construction of a grocery store will alleviate the lack of affordable and fresh grocery store options on and near campus and open up a new channel of potentially lucrative revenue,” said a report by the dining subcommittee.
Some of the recommendations were inspired by the Real Food Challenge, an organization started by college students that aims to provide more sustainable and ethical food sources.
“The hope is that whoever ends up in charge of dining halls on campus … will use these sustainability and dietary recommendations that we have put together,” said Elayna Shapiro, president of U Students Like Good Food.
University administration will make the final decision regarding any changes to the dining services.
Information from: The Minnesota Daily, http://www.mndaily.com/