Hungry for more
Lack of food options leave students empty
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 22:02
As a student who has attended other community colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District, William Madrigal has seen a variety of campuses and noticed the differences and similarities between them.
Upon beginning classes at Contra Costa College, he noticed one particular difference from other colleges.
“It’s strange that we (the college) don’t really have an actual cafeteria on campus.” Madrigal said. “Other colleges have a cafeteria where (food is served) along with other food options offered around campus.”
This absence of a full-scale cafeteria along with the lack of food options, has led Madrigal to leave campus between classes many times in search of sustenance.
The culinary arts program has created other food options like the Three Seasons Restaurant, a full-scale kitchen with dine-in seating open from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Express Café, located within the Three Seasons Restaurant, is open from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on the same days of operation as the restaurant. Also, The Switch is located on the second floor of the Applied Arts Building. It serves fresh food options from full meals to fruits from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Three Seasons Restaurant is a popular and healthy food choice for the majority of students on campus, but with its limited hours, students are left to find other less healthy forms of sustenance around campus or even off campus.
Many students are still unhappy with the slim selection of food options offered on campus.
“If it’s a Monday or a Friday (the days the Three Seasons Restaurant is not open) I won’t even consider eating food on campus,” nursing major Michael Hee said. “I’m not really interested in Subway or the snacks offered at the college Bookstore.”
Subway has been the only vendor in the Student Dining Room since the fall 2009 semester. Their contract for the space will expire on June 30, Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong said.
“We haven’t had any other bids come up for the space so Subway will more than likely remain where they are,” Magalong said.
While Subway offers some healthy food options, some students still feel like the variety of those options are scarce.
“Subway and the Bookstore have food available to students, but they are far from healthy options,” culinary arts major Matthew Riformo said. “Our (the culinary arts program) offers organic meals, but sadly we can only supply them during the hours were open.”
Nick Dunn, supply buyer for the Bookstore located within the Student Activities Building, said the store tries to bring different food options into the Bookstore but they are mostly fast food or junk food.
The Bookstore offers mainly snack foods such as chips, cup of noodles and candy. Although the Bookstore does offer Kinder’s sandwiches as another option, Dunn said that one can only eat sandwiches so many times a week.
Although the culinary arts program offers healthy choices, its hours of operation allow a fraction of CCC students to be fed there.
“We can’t have the restaurant open five days a week,” culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said. “We’re an educational program so we have to have days for lecture and demonstration of dishes.”
The problem of limited food selection during certain periods is a campuswide issue. The only options available to students after 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, other than Subway, are vending and soda machines.