Students get more dining options with college's new contract

With Sodexo's takeover of Emerson's program, more meal plan options are being introduced.

Aug. 7—Emerson will have a new service provider come the fall, France-based company Sodexo. This change will come with a reorganization of the meal plan system and fresher food, according to Jay Phillips, the associate vice president for facilities and campus services.

This is the first time in 15 years the college will not use the services of Aramark. The former provider’s contract will expire at the end of July, said Phillips.

The two new dining options available to students are the Unlimited Plan and the Block Plan. The Unlimited Plan will provide students with infinite dining hall meals per semester and 150 Board Bucks used to purchase food in campus cafes. Choosing this plan will add $62.50 onto regular room and board costs, which range from $13,000 to $15,000.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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