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Princeton University dining serves the community through Summer Food and Nutrition Program

The new initiative will serve meals to area school children, the homeless and seniors.

People always say your true character comes out during challenging times. The onsite food service industry has always been a community builder, a team that thinks about serving others. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, many operators stepped up to the plate in new and innovative ways.

Princeton University’s dining services team is the latest example with the creation of its Summer Food and Nutrition Program, which launches July 7 and runs through Aug. 16. The program is shining example of a college dining program using its expertise to serve an entire community—not just those on the campus.

Smitha_Haneef,_Assistant_Vice_President,_University_Services_-_DSC_8873.jpgPhoto: Smitha Haneef, Assistant Vice President of University Services

Through the program, school-aged children through seniors will be fed meals each week. Princeton dining services is working with the Princeton Public School District to feed the 500 students that are on free and reduced-priced lunches. Dining will prepare and package three family meals each week and also breakfast and lunches for the weekend. The district’s foodservice team will continue serving students breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday. Meals will be delivered through the district’s school buses.

The next community to be served through the initiative is the homeless, which will be served meals in collaboration with HomeFront, an organization in New Jersey aimed at ending homelessness. Campus dining will provide meals that will be delivered through HomeFront’s network.

Chef_Matt_Kane,_Sous_Chef_ll_-_DSC_8887.jpgPhoto: Campus Dining team member Matt Kane, sous chef II. 

Photo credit: Renae Hill

Campus dining is also working the Rescue Mission of Trenton’s shelter to provide it 2,500 melas per week for those who are in recovery and treatment with the shelter.

And lastly, campus dining is serving the elderly through the local Meals on Wheels program by providing 540 meals each week.

Leading campus dining in the Summer Food and Nutrition Program is Smitha Haneef, assistant vice president of campus dining. Food Management recently caught up with her to find out about the creation of the program and how it’s bringing about some positivity and help during these trying times.  


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