The University of Massachusetts at Amherst Dining Services on June 30 became the first U.S. food service operation ever to receive a Shine Award from the Canadian College and University Food Service Association. The award was presented during the organization’s annual conference in Ottawa.
The award acknowledges programs that demonstrate outstanding dining, hospitality service and teamwork to reach a major accomplishment, enhance the food service business or improve the quality of campus life.
Lee Elkas, president of CCUFSA, said UMass Amherst has an exceptional dining program that is not only leading the nation, but inspires everyone in college dining by putting students first, involving the community and demonstrating a willingness to share its success. Among the examples Elkas cited were the permaculture garden at Franklin Dining Commons, the annual chef culinary conference, the guest chefs series and making the dining commons available to off-campus students and community members during a major power outage caused by a freak snowstorm in western Massachusetts in October 2011.
“We are grateful to receive this national award from CCUFSA,” says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Services at UMass Amherst. “It is so special to be acknowledged and reminds us that we need to continue to lead by example, to build the community and to work closely with our students as we serve this great university.”
The award is the fifth national honor that UMass Dining Services has received in 2012, says Toong.