By Alex Becker ‘18
Year after year, many students have complained about what they believe to be is the dwindling amount of food options that are available to choose from at Sparky’s Place.
Junior Emily stated, “I pay a lot of money a semester for salad, grilled chicken, and some cooked veggies.”
Students tend to give the same feedback that they constantly see the same selections on a regular basis. Lately, there have been several complaints from students that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten intolerant, etc.
Student Jordyn stated, “I eat the same thing every night because they don’t have a vegetarian meal option on a day to day basis.”
Several students have expressed that Sodexo isn’t pleasing anyone with various food options. But from the standpoint of the employees who are directly involved with food production, it’s a different story.
Kerry Cameron, Merrimack’s Registered Dietician, Damian Zedower, Senior Executive Chef, and Karen Hyder, General Manager, are avidly trying to please the masses on campus. They realize some people aren’t happy but also want students to know that everything takes time and it can be difficult to please 2,400 students all at once.
Zedower stated, “It’s like a big ship, you can’t just shift it all at once. It takes time to get it in line…but it’s a ship we can manage.”
Sodexo’s staff is very open to taking feedback on food options, but they want students to realize that while changing one thing may please some students, it might upset another group. As for those complaining about limited options at Sparky’s, Zedower talked heavily on the fact that there are several stations with all different components, where students can mix things and can create whatever they want to eat.
Cameron is very happy with the way things are going. She works very closely with the student body, especially with those who have food allergies or dietary restrictions. She even discussed how Sparky’s offers cooking demos to inform students on how to cook healthier in dorm rooms.
Hyder also wants to make students aware of all of the options available on campus. Of course, students are welcome to eat at Sparky’s Express and Zime. Stir-fry is also available Monday-Friday from 11:30a.m.-2:00p.m. at the concession stand right outside of Lawler Rink.
Sodexo recently introduced a new house made feature in Sparky’s. Burgers and fries are made fresh everyday, whole white tuna is now available, higher quality meats are being used, and soups, salad dressings, pasta, and pizza sauces are made in house.
With new changes put in place to make a dining hall that everyone enjoys, the employees at Sparky’s also want students to keep in mind that menu options are always a work in progress.