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New food services partnership renews focus on diversity, nutrition, and sustainability

This past summer, Queen's Hospitality Services launched its new food service management partnership with Aramark Canada with a focus on sustainability, Fair Trade and local products, and a renewed commitment to variety, cultural authenticity, and nutrition.

The Queen's Hospitality Services team is directly involved in the ongoing review of campus food services, the strategic expansion and development of food operations, and identifies and executes renovation projects. 

"We have already implemented several innovative changes to what is available on campus, in addition to the required health and safety measures that are in place due to the ongoing pandemic," says Jennifer Pete, Associate Director, Housing and Ancillary Services. "As our partnership with Aramark continues to grow, we will be introducing more services, including a customer feedback initiative, the expansion of mobile ordering, and the development of a new grocery platform service. We are grateful to all of our Hospitality staff for their commitment to helping us continually improve and expand our services, as we aim to keep our community safe."

All dining halls and retail food locations have expanded grab-and-go options and reduced physical interactions in purchasing food to maximize safety and physical distancing. 

The partnership with Aramark has created a new one-of-a-kind plant-forward burger concept located in Mackintosh Corry Hall. Flip-it's flexitarian menu includes a unique handcrafted 50/50 blended beef mushroom burger and a new bean burger patty. 

Queen's Hospitality Services has also launched two new sustainability programs this fall to reduce food-packing waste during the pandemic and beyond. The ECO Container and Huskee Cup programs provide participants with a reusable food container and a lidded cup each time they visit. 

Queen's Hospitality Services continues to partner with Soul Food and Loving Spoonful, donating food each evening to the local Kingston community. From March 2020 to August 2020, when operations quickly shut down due to COVID-19, Hospitality Services donated over $37,000 worth of product to the Kingston community, including The Partners in Mission Food Bank, Salvation Army, Martha's Table, and Kingston Youth Shelter.

Looking ahead, Hospitality Services is planning a significant renovation to Leonard Dining Hall that will include a new teaching kitchen, set to be completed in the summer of 2022. 

The Leonard teaching kitchen will be designed and run as an education-based culinary platform where students learn food concepts through nutrition literacy and demonstrated cooking skills by the Hospitality Services culinary team.

The overall objective explains Pete is one where "students learn the basics of healthy eating, how to prepare budget-conscious and sustainable meals. These skills will positively impact their food choices, optimizing their health and wellness during their time here at Queen's and in the future."

For more information about on-campus dining holiday hours, menus, and all programs and services, visit the Queen's Hospitality Services website.

For information about all food-related resources on campus, visit the food access resources guide on the Student Affairs website.