Fueling fundraisers

Penn State University develops program to help dance marathon participants.

Published in FSD C&U Spotlight

THON participants cheer as the final record-breaking fundraising totals are revealed. This year, THON raised over $13 million dollars to fight pediatric cancer.

In the same way, the committee also labeled certain foods as “THON Recovery” so that students would know which foods would help their bodies rebuild post-marathon. The recovery foods included items such as string cheese, hummus and pretzels, nuts and Greek yogurt—all items high in protein and amino acids. The committee also included recovery drinks like chocolate milk and coconut water.

Richard says that the THON labels increased sales of these items both before and after THON weekend, especially in the c-stores. “We saw a huge uptick in how quickly these items moved,” he says. “The labels were a great identifying factor for students that took the pain out of figuring out which choices to make.”

In addition to the labels, foodservices THON committee also put together vendor-supported snack packs for moralers—student volunteers who help keep the dancers fueled—to pick up during the weekend. The snack packs were nutrition-focused and included Greek yogurt, water, fruit and pistachios. According to Richard, the snack packs ran out quickly, since moralers could walk into the c-stores and find nutritious items for the dancers without having to shop.

Food Services also wanted to make sure it found ways to recognize its student employees who were involved with THON. Dancers received 7-foot banners signed by their peers as a reminder of their support, and I-THON buttons were distributed to foodservices student employees who volunteered with THON in any capacity.

According to Megan Renaut, Penn State junior and THON hospitality director, THON’s partnership with Food Services was a natural fit. “It was one of those moments where you think, ‘Why haven’t we been doing this all along?’” she asks. “They had so many amazing ideas, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Renaut also says that all of the initiatives Food Services put into place this year were well-received and well-utilized by students, especially the portable snack packs. “It was a great boost for dancers between meals,” she adds.

Richards considers the partnership a success as well, and he’s looking forward to what future involvement will bring. “We had a great first year, and we’ll definitely be looking to raise the bar,” he says.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
vegetables with dip foodservice healthy menu

From Mrs. Dash Foodservice.

There was a time when healthy food meant counting calories, omitting carbs, giving up sugar and going fat-free—in other words, it was all about deprivation.

But not anymore. Today’s definition of healthy means an overall focus on nutrition and wellness that doesn’t mean giving up enjoyment. It’s all about balance: good fats, healthy carbs, better sweeteners, wholesome ingredients and satisfying flavor enhancements. It means food that customers can feel good about, at the same time that they’re enjoying the dining experience.

According to...

Industry News & Opinion

Aramark today announced a partnership with celebrity chef and TV personality Cat Cora that will put a new concept from the Top Chef star in Aramark’s North American business-and-industry accounts.

The new fast-casual concept, called Olilo by Cat Cora, promises a healthy, made-your-way menu, according to the global foodservice provider.

“By bringing together Chef Cora's award-winning brand and healthy cooking advocacy and Aramark's commitment to enriching and nourishing the lives of the thousands of consumers we serve every day, we have an opportunity to elevate the on-site...

Industry News & Opinion

Members of Congress and several advocacy groups gathered on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to highlight the potential loss of millions in state funding because of a Child Nutrition Reauthorization block grant introduced last month, and to call upon legislators to squash the bill.

The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 houses a statute that would provide three unannounced pilot states with block grant funding. Participating states would be exempt from federal nutrition regulations and would no longer qualify for the 6-cent reimbursement per lunch garnered by certified...

Managing Your Business
chicken tenders

The outcry was immediate when Yale University slashed chicken tenders from dining hall menus in 2008. Yale had just brought its dining services in-house with a new focus on sustainable food, and processed chicken strips were simply out of sync with that philosophy. But students were outraged, launching protests and convincing their parents to call and complain.

Yale Hospitality Associate Vice President Rafi Taherian gave in. “He said, OK, if we’re going to have chicken tenders, which clearly we must, then we’re going to have the best gosh darn chicken tenders in town,” says Cathy...

FSD Resources