I am writing this in response to the April 3 article in The Ithacan, titled “Dining Services attempts to meet special dietary restrictions.” Before I proceed, I would like to state that I am not in full support of Sodexo, but I only wish to briefly highlight how Sodexo operates.
What the general student population fails to recognize is the significant influence they themselves have on the meal options available in Ithaca College dining halls. The food offered at the college is restricted to a certain degree, mostly by the food plan IC Dining Services has contracted with Sodexo. However, many of the food options or meals based on dietary restrictions are largely dictated by consumer demand.
Sodexo, like the college, is a business, and the food it provides reflects students’ daily choices. Burgers and fries are ubiquitous in the dining halls because that’s what many people turn to. Thus the apparent lack of meal diversity is partially attributed to the apathy or the justified ignorance of students on the dining services here.
When a change is in demand, even by a handful of people, Sodexo will respond. If it means keeping consumers happy and continuous enrollment in the meal plan, Sodexo will modify food options or provide additional labeling. The moral of the story is go give feedback to the area general manager of Ithaca Dining Services, fill out a response card — or five — or talk with the chefs. Sodexo is largely limited by your input.