CLARION, Pa.- Along with its physical renovations, Clarion University’s Gemmell Food Court also received new healthy food items this semester.
Chartwells added 10 new menu items to the “On The Go” section of the food court. The new additions include steak and kale salad, fresh fruit including honeydew and watermelon, a just vegan box, a just veggin’ box, an artisan fruit cup, a turkey club wrap, an Italian sub, a chicken salad croissant, broccoli salad and tabbouleh. The just veggin’ box includes raisins, walnuts, tomatoes, bell pepper strips, celery and carrots.
According to Jeffrey MacTaggart, senior director of dining services, the incorporation of these items was inspired by student requests.
“We came up with these items to better provide support to the growing needs of healthy meals through enhanced menu selections to engage the students and faculty with healthier lifestyle options in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyle behaviors,” MacTaggart said.
Chartwells also wanted to be able to provide students and faculty with a larger variety of fresh items while being able to keep them informed by including nutrition and ingredient information. The changes also worked to benefit vegetarian and Celiac customers.
Becca Podrosky, a junior education major, is excited about all of the new healthy options available. “The only thing I used to get out of that section was pudding, but now they have plenty of delicious new veggies to choose from! It’s a nice change from all of our usual options.”
Melissa Totin, a sophomore psychology major, also appreciates the new items and the variety that comes from them. “The ‘on the go’ options are very convenient, especially when you’re busy.”
“It made me very excited to see all of the new vegetable options available to us,” Totin said. “It can be pretty hard to eat healthy on campus, so it’s definitely nice to have these options available to us as compared to your typical salad options.”
So far, Chartwells has seen a 10 percent growth in its “On the Go” sales due to the new food items. In order to keep track of how well the items are doing, Chartwells conducts weekly accountability checks to see which items are moving or not.
“Our main concern now is keeping up with refilling our shelves,” MacTaggart said. This past week, Gemmell sold out of both types of vegetable boxes.
The new food items are also available in the Carlson Café. Chartwells is remaining cognizant of the fact that each location has contrasting needs. For example, MacTaggart noted that Carlson Café needs more readily available finger foods.
Throughout the year, Chartwells will continue to make changes to the menu and bring in new items. The menu will also change to reflect the seasons.