Back for its second year, the Hungry for Choice Food Truck Festival will return to campus later this month.
Tatiana Gilbert, the president of the TRU Student Union, said that had nearly 2,000 students, staff and faculty signed the petition to introduce competition to campus food services.
“We now have successfully implemented food trucks to be available on campus and we are hoping to expand that in the future, as well as introducing independent food providers in private campus developments,” Gilbert said.
Currently Aramark is the sole food service provider on campus. This lack of food options is what sparked the Hungry for Choice campaign last September. Gilbert said that with the successes from last year’s campaign in mind, this year the focus will shift toward a rare opportunity.
“The current food service contract is expiring and what we believe is that the campus community should have a voice in contributing to that, in rethinking food service on campus,” Gilbert said. “There’s going to be more choice for students and what they’d like to purchase for food.”
Gilbert says that Aramark’s contract will expire some time within the year and that it’s important that students have a say in these kinds of decisions. Her plan is help give students more of a voice in this decision by first engaging them, encouraging them and by making them aware.
“We believe that students should have a voice in this new contract renewal and that is going to be done through a full and comprehensive consultation. We are working with TRU to ensure that students are able to voice their concerns and their vision for what food service should look like on campus,” Gilbert said.
Creating diversity in food services on campus would help to create competition and variety in price, value, quality and hours. Many of the concerns around food service has been directly related to the hours of operation, long lines and lack of quality food. Gilbert adds that food has a very intimate connection to the kind of community that is created on campus.
“So, having that important connection between food and community and being able to celebrate the diversity of backgrounds we have here on campus in the form of food service, would be absolutely incredible,” Gilbert said.
The Hungry for Choice Food Truck Festival will take place on Sept. 21 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will be followed by an outdoor screening of Wonder Woman 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Commons.