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Best practices allow continued food service to campus residents

CMU's dining services partner Sodexo has evolved their campus operation in response to COVID-19. CMU Director of Foodservice Programs Whitney Sutton believes while the changes have been significant and challenging the prevention measures are critical.

“With a nation on lockdown everything has changed,” said Sutton. “This change is evident in everything we do including how CMU and its dining service partner Sodexo are preparing, serving and adjusting our dining operations to protect students.”

On March 27, Sodexo General Manager Shelly Duran was working to align her operations with state and local health orders while also working with Sutton to adjust dining services in a way to complement the unique CMU campus environment. As modifications were announced, Duran received word that a student with major underlying health conditions needed to remain on campus, but was considering leaving because of fear her dietary requirements could no longer be met on campus. Duran and her team met with the family, and then adjusted food service in a way that would help the student control the health condition and allow that student to remain on campus.

“Our team received a thank you note after the effort," said Duran. “The note reminded me what is possible when a strong relationship exists between two partners trying to solve challenges. While we have a large operation at CMU, Sodexo continues to make small adjustments when it serves the students we work for.”

In response to COVID-19, CMU and Sodexo have replaced the buffet service format with a Grab ‘n Go boxed meal concept. Students enter The Caf observing disinfecting and social distancing protocols. Sodexo personnel serve them meals using best practices and students are encouraged to eat off location using to go container that reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

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Written by David Ludlam