November 23, 2016

Helping Hands Across America Food Drive Coming to Davies Center on Nov. 30

Blugold Dining invites UWEC students, faculty and staff to fight hunger and help those in need across the Chippewa Valley by taking part in its Helping Hands Across America food drive, on Nov. 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Davies Center main entrance, across from the Service Center.
All nonperishable food and cash collected will be donated to Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire, benefiting senior citizens, single parents, the working poor, the homeless, the mentally ill and others. Last year’s Helping Hands Across America food drive produced 3,087 pounds of food and $1,184 in cash for Feed My People.
Feed My People suggests donations of canned fruit, canned vegetables and peanut butter. Food can’t be expired and can’t be damaged in any way that affects its suitability for consumption. Food that’s not labeled won’t be accepted. Nonperishable food will be available for purchase (at cost) inside Marketplace at Davies Center on Nov. 30. Donations of bottled water are also permitted.
“Blugold Dining is committed to raising awareness of hunger – a problem that affects thousands of people right here in our backyard,” Blugold Dining Resident District Manager Christian Wise said. “We’re again coming together as a campus to provide much-needed support to those suffering from hunger in our community, and we hope this effort will help get more people involved in this important cause.”

November 15, 2016

Blugold Dining Meeting the Needs of UWEC Students with Allergies

Blugold Dining Executive Chef Debbie Allen has become certified as an AllerTrain master trainer, making her an expert at serving UWEC students with food allergies and intolerances, as well as students with special dietary needs.

At Riverview Cafe, the all-you-care-to-eat cafeteria at the Hilltop Center, Allen plans the daily menu for nearly 3,000 students, some of whom have dietary restrictions, such as a gluten intolerance. She regularly meets with students who have allergies – and their parents – to determine what’s suitable within their diet, then she ensures specific food is available at Riverview Cafe so students don’t have to leave campus to eat.

Allen traveled this month to Denver for the Food Allergy Symposium for Industry, a gathering of food service stakeholders who specialize in food allergies. Her colleague, Blugold Dining Resident District Manager Christian Wise, will attend School Food Focus – Change Beyond the Plate – specializing in the need for fresh, local ingredients, in December in Braselton, Georgia. An Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kevin Concannon, will be the keynote speaker at the conference. It’s all in the name of improving the quality of life of UWEC students.

“I’ve started to notice the change in eating habits among students and the growing number of people with allergies,” said Allen, who has spent 20 years with Sodexo, including the past four at UWEC. “I have an open-door policy, so students know they can come in, and we can sit down and work out the issue. We talk, listen and come up with a plan to make everyone comfortable with dining on campus.”