Durham College students are often heard discussing the quality, variety, and affordability of food choices on campus.
Students of Durham and UOIT have the power to influence change in the school, but they must voice their opinions to Aramark’s representatives.
“The healthy food choices on campus are really limited and just sub-par,” said Marlon Alleyne, a General Arts and Science student who often chooses to bring food from home.
Faybian Palmer, Aramark’s food services director on campus, gave some insight as to how the food choices on campus are related to what the students seem to want.
“People speak in many different ways, with their voices, but people also speak with their dollars as well,” Palmer said.
“If carrots and celery sticks were the most popular thing on campus, we would remove Pizza Pizza and make a carrot and celery stick station.”
Durham College and Aramark try to provide options for every dietary need, including halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options, according to Palmer.
However, sometimes students just want that slice of pizza or some fries during a stressful day.
“We’ll serve you what you like, but we’ll try to educate you on it,” said Palmer.
Aramark also tries to inform students on what goes into their food, and attempts to direct students to more nutritional options.
Currently, Aramark promotes its “Just 4U” program and “Get the Good Stuff,” which helps steer students to healthy choices quickly and easily.
There is an Aramark program called “Just 4U for Vending” that could implement healthier snacks into the vending machines, but has not yet made its way to Canada.
The school’s snacking system can see change without the implementation of a new program, says Palmer. He says when students make a request or suggestion, Aramark’s representatives attempt to implement the change.
Some snacks, such as thin, cylindrical bags of nuts, were experimented with in Durham College but were difficult to keep in a vending machine.