Yesterday, Sodexho held its first “Servathon” in conjunction with the annual food show from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Frank Dining Hall.
“This is our first year doing the Servathon with the food show, and that’s why we’re so excited,” Frank Dining Hall Unit Manager Phil Sweeney said.
Sweeney explained that the food show is an annual campus event:
“Fifteen different food brokers come in with their products, and people will try them,” he said.
This year, some of the products to be sampled include desserts, green tea and stuffed pretzels.
For the incorporated Servathon this year, dining services will be collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations for admittance to the Food Show.
“I thought it was a good idea,” Sweeney said. “It’s better than doing nothing. Hopefully, at least we’ll make some people think about the issue.”
The Servathon is part of the larger “Stop Hunger” effort Sodexho is undertaking for the various companies, schools and businesses the corporation serves. Last year, more than 30,000 Sodexho employees worked together to donate more than 100 tons of food and served 25,000 meals to hungry men, women and children.
“It’s not like [Sodexho] says that we have to do anything specific. They say, come up with an idea and do it. They basically leave the ball in your own court. We always get a lot of people coming in [for the food show], so I thought it was a good idea,” Sweeney said.
Foods exhibited at the food show sometimes become a part of Sodexho’s menu modifications.
“If [students] like something, they usually drop me a comment card. Or, vendors will tell me what people liked,” Sweeney said.
Next year, the Food Show is planned for the fall semester, so popular items can be incorporated into the menu earlier in the year.
Through the Servathon, Dining Services hopes to make a large contribution to the Hamilton community. Donations collected at the food show will be brought to the Hamilton Soup Kitchen, which serves from 400 to 800 meals to hungry people a week. “Our intent is just to give back and help feed people,” Sweeney said.
In the past, Sodexho has sponsored other similar community service events. Colgate students also come to Frank once a week to collect leftovers and bring them to the Hamilton Soup Kitchen.
“We do quite a bit. Sometimes I take extra food to the Hope House in Utica; it’s a super program,” Sweeney said.
The objective of the Servathon is simple: “We’re using food to raise food,” he said.
Sweeney encourages everyone to donate to the cause.
“Most of the people eating at these places are working couples: If you read them, the statistics of how many people need help are unbelievable,” Sweeney said.