Kitchen Cabinet Minutes May 2013 Posted on May 13th, 2013 by

Kitchen Cabinet
May 13, 2013

Present: Lisa Heldke, Steve Kjellgren, Paul Matzke, Rebecca Hare, Saskia Raether, Jim Dontje, Margo Druschell, Jeff Stocco, Judy Douglas, George Elliott

We are going to spend time reflecting on this past year and would also like feedback on what we might want to work on in the future. Are we doing what we need to do? We did not do any new projects this year but rather wrapped up on some fairly big projects.
Fair Trade Support and Effort. Margo discussed her appreciation to the cabinet for their help last fall and again this spring. There is a movement on campus for us to be recognized as a fair trade college, we just lost a little momentum as the person interested in getting this going is not on campus this semester. Several students were interested last semester when the banana producers were on campus. It was also suggested in the future that perhaps the book, “Where Am I Wearing” be selected for the Reading in Common book and the author be brought on campus. This really highlights the recent events of Bangladesh and fits in with our continuing conversation of being responsible consumers. And we are a community that is willing to have the conversation.
Coke Grant. The wrap up on this was successful. It was great to see how many of the grants had an instant impact. Marge from Coke is putting together a presentation and would appreciate any pictures of the grants. Marge was very moved by some of the projects and is looking forward to being more involved in the process and being involved earlier in the process. If this continues in a positive move forward she would like to be able to share the good work being done here with other colleges. And yes, we understand that may be a marketing move and yet it continues to promote the conversation of change and to be a partner in the engagement of the conversation of change is important to us as a campus, as a community and as a committee. Saskia noted that students had positive feedback and that they enjoy being able to do something they have wanted to do but did not have the funds or the format. The Coke grant gave them a way to complete their project. It was also noted from an education standpoint that students learned about the process: grant writing, submission, deadlines, following through with the project and outcomes. It was a great learning experience and can be helpful on a resume. The submissions for next year will start earlier and the email has already gone out.
Nutrition Labeling Project. The Cabinet looked at the final draft on the nutrition label for the website that will be up and running this fall. Then final phase of the project is data entry. A hard copy will still be available in the dining area. A suggestion was also made to have a few computer tablets in the dining area where students could easily access the information. It was also discussed what parents might want to know about Dining Services, and how do we promote ourselves to first year students. One way is through orientation in the summer. Another way may be through meal plans. Judy suggested we contribute to the first issue of Student Health 101 that comes out in September (the deadline would be August). This would be a great format to get the information out there that perhaps parents would also read (there is a parent version available to them). This also ties into the Wellbeing Initiative and how we want to promote healthy lifestyles, getting enough sleep, limiting stress, limiting substance abuse, eating well, etc. On a side note to the Nutrition Labeling Project it was again suggested that pork products be labeled, I believe at point of service. We will look in to that, at present it is on the paper label just as the allergens are.
Good Food for Busy Gusties. Discussed this program in general and why it did not take off as rapidly as we had hoped. There was student involvement and those involved seemed to enjoy participating, but it was a struggle to get students to participate monthly. March and April events were canceled due to lack of participation. Compared to dinner in box, this just did not seem to grab the momentum. Jim noted that students are hungry for the freedom to try things on their own, so having an appointed time and day with a set schedule may be is not as appealing as having a “Chef in a box” where students can pick the day, time and someone shows up with the food, utensils and teaches a few skills. Steve also questioned if students are not already getting together and cooking on their own and perhaps they don’t need any more skills. The Wellness Advisory Board had offered several suggestions for the program and they felt the program was valid, but perhaps finding a few hooks or changing it up a bit would be more helpful, such as having a celebrity chef. Or partnering with groups already in existence such as sports teams, sororities, clubs, and offering up a night of cooking to that group. There will continue to be discussion around how this program will continue and what it might look like in the future.
Composter. Jim shared with us where the project is at, how the greenhouse is coming along, what the shed will look like and proposed dates of installation. With the unusual spring weather it is just a matter of timing. We also discussed what products we may have to change, such as individual containers of condiments, for this to be as effective as possible. This is a great undertaking and there will be some changes that will need to be made from everyone’s perspective. The end result will be worth it in regards to reducing waste.

Lisa is asking for any input on projects, dreams, hopes for the future for Kitchen Cabinet for next year. Thanks for a great year!


Comments are closed.