As most of our students get ready to leave for home for the Thanksgiving holidays, it is a good time for us to reflect and give thanks for what we have accomplished in 2013.
The success of UMass Dining Services has a lot to do with the feedback from and the support of our customers. This influential group includes students, parents, faculty and staff, and guests. All of you provide us with inspiration and push us to innovate. As the second largest and one of the most-talked-about campus food service in the nation, we want to lead our industry in making changes to support sustainable food systems and serve healthy and delicious food. We use your feedback every day to work toward our mission.
Let me share with you a piece of good news we heard last week. We are receiving a grant of $485,000 from the Kendall Foundation to support the UMass Healthy and Sustainable food system model. We will use the grant to do many things, from serving more sustainable food options at the Hampshire DC to engaging our peer schools through conferences. We also, of course, will continue to support the New England Food System. The grant is good for two years. This is one of the first and the largest grants that Kendall Foundation has given to UMass in the last few years, and we are excited about the opportunity and ready for the challenge. A special thank you to Andrew Kendall and the trustees of the board who believe in what we do. Your support for our program is tremendous.
Now onto Thanksgiving: We will be serving a Thanksgiving buffet all day on Thursday at Bluewall for students and guests who will be staying on campus. The buffet will include locally grown sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pilgrim sandwiches, and free-range turkey.
This week, we also are sending Don Sabola, UMass Chef from the Worcester DC, to help out at the Amherst Survival Center during the Thanksgiving Community Meal on Wednesday, November 27. As part of our community support, we are donating three local, free-range turkeys to the cause and we will help serve turkey dinner to 300 people. It is great way to help our neighbors in need. I’ll be there as well.
Lastly, as we think of others this week, our thoughts go to the people devastated by the typhoon that hit the central Philippines. On December 15, UMass Dining and Auxiliary Enterprises will collect donations during the faculty and staff lunch. Our goal is to collect $5000 during the luncheon to donate directly to rebuilding efforts.
Wherever you find yourself this Thursday, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. As always, THANK YOU!
This is Ken Toong. Thank you for keeping UMass at the top. You can contact Ken at [email protected]