Indiana students worry drought will raise prices

Apple and corn harvest have been hit hard.

Aug. 28—There are worries among students and dining services at Indiana University, Sotuh Bend, that campus food prices may soon be going up. With an already-strapped economy, higher prices anywhere are a cause for concern.

With March temperatures so warm, crops became confused and foliage started to sprout earlier than expected. Once the cold front returned the crops were severely damaged. If these conditions did not pose enough of a problem for Indiana farmers and their crops, the severe drought definitely did.

“There are two things that went on, not just the drought but there was also the spring that we had. We went from winter temperatures to 80 degree weather,” said Ziggy Pairitz, director of dining services at IU South Bend. “I’ve heard that we have lost 80 to 90% of our apple crop, coupled with that the drought that we had mid-summer obviously affects the corn. We can see we are in for a bumpy road."

The Agriculture Department recently reduced its corn harvest projection by 13%, bringing expected output to a six-year low and causing speculation that food prices will steepen.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
business ladder climbing illustration

Recruiting talent is only half the battle for Mike Folino, associate director of nutrition services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Once he’s attracted good employees, providing clear opportunities for advancement can help retain them—but knowing when to bring up the topic in conversation can be tricky.

Prior to hiring

Folino likes to touch on advancement during the initial interview process, but the extent to which he does so changes case by case. “I have had interviews where we knew right away that we needed to discuss our structure and...

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

FSD Resources