The Zorn Dining Commons offers a little-known program to help students whose studies take them off campus.
KSC student teachers and nursing student must travel off-campus in some cases to meet program requirements. If they live on campus and rely on their meal plan for lunch, the DC offers them a solution.
Rebecca Hunt, marketing manager and registered dietician at the Zorn Dining Commons, explained how this program has helped teaching and nursing students gain access to healthy food while on the move.
“The program is geared towards students that have student teaching assignments or nursing internships where they are required to be off-campus for their studies,” Hunt said.
Students apply for the program by contacting Hunt and expressing interest in the program.
“They connect with me directly. We give the student information about the program and how to make it work,” Hunt said.
Once a student is enrolled in the program, it is easy to get the bagged lunch.
Hunt explained, “The student comes into the dining common the night before they need their bag lunch and they mention to the cashier that they will be picking up their bag lunch for tomorrow. It is a different transaction process at the register and we take a meal off for the following day for the meal period that they are requesting. They get a receipt that they bring to the deli and then the folks at the deli are kind enough to make a sandwich to order for them.”
Students taking advantage of the program are limited to a deli sandwich with the sides to make up a meal. The student receives his or her sandwich packaged up and ready to go. “We have bags that are prepackaged with the add-ons like chips, cookies and fruit, a bottle of water and mustard and mayonnaise,” Hunt added.
The student can then keep their lunch in their refrigerator so they are ready for the next day’s assignment.
The program is not designed for students who just want a quick bite on-the-run. Students looking for an on-the-go meal can take advantage of other dining options such as Hoot-n-Scoot.
“The Hoot-n-Scoot is a similar option. You are swiping for a meal, you are taking it and putting it in the fridge and it’s ready to go the next day,” Hunt explained.
According to Hunt, the program has been offered for ten or more years and participation has varied.
When asked how many students are taking advantage of the program now Hunt responded, “Right now I only have one. We have had a dozen students a semester taking advantage of the program in the past.” Some of the decline in participation has been chalked up to the Hoot-n-Scoot offering “meals-to-go.”
“A lot of the students who are student teaching end up living off-campus and end up fending for themselves. But there are some that live on campus, and this program ends up being the save-all for their life. They come in for dinner any ways, and they can just grab a bag lunch while they are in,” Hunt stated.
The bag lunch program does help students eat well on Mondays, however, because the DC is open Sundays while Hoot-n-Scoot is not.
“It’s not well-utilized. We have reached out in the past to departments where students are impacted like the education department,” Hunt added.
Caroline Hird, a sophomore education student, begins student teaching next year. She said, “It would be really helpful if I had something organized and the DC can do that for us. Next year I plan on living offcampus, but I still plan on having a small meal plan. Having it available ‘to-go’ would be helpful.”
Senior Kimberly Lynch is a public health student who is interning at Phoenix House in Dublin, N.H. Lynch does not have a meal plan, but would “definitely” take advantage of the program if she did.
When asked if the service would be helpful as a cash transaction, Lynch said, “If I have to pay separate, I would just go to the store and get a sandwich.”
The bagged lunch program offers students the opportunity to eat lunch while fulfilling their intern obligations and paying for the services with his or her meal plan.
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