Kitchen Cabinet Meeting Minutes April 2015

Posted on April 28th, 2015 by

Kitchen Cabinet
April 13, 2015
Paul Matzke, Lisa Heldke, Mark Hanson, Steve Kjellgren, Chuck Niederriter, Jim Dontje, Erin Kuiper, Margo Druschel, Judy Douglas, Danny Pavek , Sami Manick, Jessica Braun, Saskia Raether, Katie Feterl, Cameron Reischauer, George Elliott

Dining Service Special Voluntary Retirement – Steve explained that many of the Dining Service staff will be taking advantage of the voluntary retirement – seven total. Steve sees this as an opportunity to evaluate if we are organized the way we want to be. We will be missing Sherry from Courtyard Café, Denise from the bakery, Charlie who is now in the dish room, Bob who has cooked with us for 15 years, Dennis who is one of our Supervisors in the Market Place, Betty from the deli and Corky one of our cashiers. So many people with many different positions.

Hydroponics and the Coke Grant – Danny updated KC on the Coke grant project of hydroponics. There are plants in the system and it is currently running. We are working with the compost to see what type of nutrients we may need and if we would like to use the compost vs. purchasing a product that may have the right nutrients. Also discussed was the water collection project that will be going on at the union. It will be happening this summer on the roof although it is not a roof top collection program, which is better. The drains all come out of the same place and it is a neat project. The tank has a seven foot radius.

Food Allergy – Margo shared with the group that we exceed what other universities do for food allergies and intolerances. We are flexible and willing to accommodate students and the bottom line is we are serving these students well. We are above what the law requires. Students can meet in Health Service and have a medical protocol if needed. Margo noted that Disability Services does require our students to wear a medical alert bracelet as our students are not always on campus and this helps them wherever they are. Margo also noted that the ADA does require medical documentation.

Sustainability fair – Chuck reminded us of the Sustainability fair and asked what may need to go out at the fair. It was agreed that Kitchen Cabinet should have a table and certainly a summary of Coke grants pertaining to this could be highlighted.

What does it Mean to be a zero Waste Community – Jim helped us to understand this or actually raised more discussion and questions as this is open to interpretation. Can it be defined as you can’t throw anything away? You really can’t find a good definition out there and even the EPA website seems hesitant to stay zero waste as they don’t want to define it. Zero waste to landfill – diversion rate – what you prevent from going to the landfill. Ideally you don’t want to wait until you can’t divert it. A 90% diversion rate is considered acceptable. We are in the 70-80% range and we do well. Jim states we may need to check this figure as it was stated several years ago and certainly we have changed. Everyone involved the recycling effort feels like we are struggling. This would have benefits in other areas – this is about intentionality – gustie ware is really about a community attitude. Jim mentions Zero waste Huston collation a university premiering zero waste events. GM and Toyota are zero waste – nothing goes to the landfill. It suggests it can be done on a big scale. Before we go after funds we probably have to show some effort on our part.

Jim discussed the link he sent out in regards to water bottles, the college no longer offers water bottles as part of the meal plan. It is a lot harder to apply here as we have an ala carte system. Discussed again the quality of St. Peter tap water and how it is just as good as bottled water. Discussed doing the water taste test at the Sustainability Fair. Hydration stations vs. water bottle – the Greens are taking that on for the Sustainability Fair. When we hand out water bottles to first years can we also attach where the hydration stations are.

Dining Service Celebration – It will be on May 22 the first day of finals. It really is more of an event for faculty and staff as we realize it is the first day of finals. Alumni Hall has been reserved and the event will take place from 2:00-3:30 pm. The President will be unable to attend as she has quite a big event of her own to take care of and will be away from campus. We are looking at obtaining products outside of Dining Service as this is to honor the Dining Service Staff and they should not have to make items for their own party. The committee is considering Cold stone ice cream, fruit, popcorn and Insomnia cookies. Lisa has many hours of food related music that can be playing in the background for a fun atmosphere. Judy needs help to greet people, put on table cloths, organize the afternoon, etc. Chuck, Mark, Jim, Lisa, Sam, Margo, Sammi, Paul, and Steve Bennett have stepped up to the plate (love the food metaphor) to help out.

Take a Prof to Lunch – Sam just wanted Kitchen Cabinet to know that more than ½ the tickets are gone for the Take a Prof to lunch day.

Fair Trade – Margo just returned from the National Fair Trade Campaign Steering Committee, this is the only in person meeting for the year. Margo notes it is hard to do the work without ever seeing people. There are many good ideas that come out of this meeting as well as sharing ideas between programs. We want to make sure Kitchen Cabinet supports students and Brian Konkol in the Fair Trade effort on campus. GAC stands out among our peers in our sustainability. Margo shared with us of a school in New York in which the Book Store Manager just would not embrace Fair Trade. GAC really is a leader – we are doing good stuff and there is always work to be done. Discussed having someone from Admissions to promote our Fair Trade efforts to incoming students as well as someone from Admissions sitting on Kitchen Cabinet.

May 11 Meet at the Compost – For our last meeting we will be meeting at the compost. There is parking if it is pouring rain. Steve will bring breakfast.


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