Trent University’s Food Services Review Committee recently held two consultation sessions for the purpose of engaging with students and the university community on the food service Request for Proposals (RFP) process. According to a press release issued by the committee the RFP will be tendered in the fall of 2013 and implemented in the spring of 2014.

Approximately 20 students, faculty, and administrators attended the first session on Thursday January 17, which was held in the AJM Smith conference room at 3:00 pm. The consultation was led by Trent Housing Facilities co-ordinator Jamie MacDonald and Director of Housing Laura Storey who both spoke briefly on the mandate of the Food Services Review Committee and what it has accomplished since being convened earlier this academic year.

The attendees were then divided into three discussion groups and asked to brainstorm the qualities and features that they would like to see in Trent’s food service. Each group compiled a “top10” list which included many commonalities notably improving the affordability and flexibility of meal plans, increasing competition among food service providers, and improving the variety of vegetarian, gluten-free, and culturally accessible foods available on campus.

Thursday’s consultation marked the first of six consultation sessions that will be held on the foodservice RFP over the next two months. The Committee has elected to hold the majority of their open-forums themed around specific priorities, for example the next consultation will take place in the Lady Eaton College Pit on January 30 and will be focused on discussing the issue of “balancing food cost and food quality.”

In addition, the committee has also set up a website devoted to the consultation process where students and community members can find links to the TCSA’s Raw Deal document, OPIRG Peterborough’s Food Policy Proposal, and the recently released fsStrategy report on Trent’s current foodservice situation.

Students and community members are also invited to post comments and feedback on trentfood.blogspot.ca or email them to [email protected]

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Matthew is a Lady Eaton College alumni, graduating in 2014 with a degree in Canadian Studies and an Emphasis in Law and Policy. Before being elected co-editor of Arthur for Volume 49, he was a campus news reporter keeping an eye on the TCSA, the colleges, and university administration. Outside of Arthur, Matthew enjoys reading, craft beer, sports, and civic pride. His aspiration is to one day open a tiny little brewery in a tiny little town.