Frank Dining Hall Holds New Plant-Based Food Event

As part of a plant-based takeover, Frank Dining Hall held an event called “Root for You” in partnership with People and Our World (PAOW) on Feb. 17. The event aimed to transform the dining hall into a showcase of green, sustainable and deliciously healthy menus, which according to Executive Chef Damian Price, has been a continual ask of students over recent years.

“It came to fruition in a couple ways,” Price said. “The growing trend in general in food is plant-forward movement. In particular on this campus, it is something that is constantly being asked for. Not just vegan and vegetarianism, but plant-forward protein and sides.” 

While the event offered a variety of plant-based foods for lunch and dinner on the day of the event, junior Annie Davis said that while she doesn’t follow a plant-based diet, she would like to see a larger selection of these options consistently.

“I looked at everything and I didn’t realize all of it was plant-based,” Davis said. “I got what I thought was chicken, it looked a lot like chicken, but it wasn’t chicken. They had stuff like ‘mac and no cheese.’ I personally didn’t mind that there was no meat, at least for today.”

The dining hall partnered with PAOW to produce a plant-based protein made of soy and other vegetable proteins. PAOW products are now launching nationwide on other campuses through the dining hall company Chartwells. Students enjoyed the PAOW products, according to sophomore Emma Goodman. 

“At first I wasn’t really expecting this to be that good,” Goodman said. “But after having lunch here, I told my friends about it, and I wanted to come back for dinner. I heard a lot of people in the dining hall talking about how delicious the food was.” 

Options included customizable meal stations like omelet, stir-fry, house-made pizza and more, according to the event flyer. 

“I wish that they could have more balanced meals every day,” sophomore Sara Fraser said. “I think this shows the opportunity for what they can do. The receptiveness I heard around me was so impressive and shows that our population wants a more balanced lifestyle.”

Dining Services advertised through emails, flyers and the dining hall Instagram, @colgatedining. Students were given information cards when they swiped their ‘Gate cards to enter Frank Dining Hall with more information about “Root for You” and the PAOW plant-based protein.

“We hoped that it would spread through texts and word of mouth once people started coming into the dining facility,” Price said. “We knew that once the lunch flow started to come in, there would be chatter across all forms of communication and campus. We prepped accordingly for that.”

This event was Frank Dining Hall’s first ever plant-based event and the entire dining hall was implemented with PAOW products. The positive reception from students made this event something that hopefully will become more common in Frank, according to Fraser.  

“It made my day so much better,” Fraser said. “I feel so satisfied and I’m impressed Frank had the capacity to pull it off.”