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New Dining Changes Announced

The Belk Dining Hall East Wing, showcasing the beverage station
Photo by Grayson Morris

On Wednesday, Jan. 11, Dr. Tammi Jackson, the Vice President for Business and Finance, sent an email to all Meredith students regarding changes to the dining services. It was announced that Jayme Aimalefoa would be stepping into the role of Director of Dining Services as of December 2022. “[Aimalefoa] comes to [Meredith College] with over 25 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry,” said Dr. Jackson. “Her love of people and expertise in food service quickly landed her in top hospitality roles during her career.”

Dr. Jackson spoke with The Herald about how she sees the new dining changes bringing a positive impact to the Meredith community, noting that “[the College is] excited that with the new additions in the leadership roles of [Meredith’s] dining services that students will have a more vibrant dining experience on campus.” She went on to specify some changes being made to Belk Dining Hall (BDH). “[Students] will also notice some physical changes in [BDH]. The multi-color plates and bowls have been replaced with more sleek, uniform color plateware. The outdated signage that denoted the various food stations has been removed and will be replaced with newer, brighter (and hopefully digital) signage.”

Students were also informed about the new snack and beverage vendor, Capitol Coffee. “As such, after months of exploration, the College partnered with Capitol Coffee. Capitol Coffee is a local, family-run business in Raleigh,” she said. Dr. Jackson also added that, “Over the next semester, Capitol Coffee will seek the input from [the Meredith ]campus to introduce new beverages and snack offerings in the machines. Since [Meredith is] no longer a Coca-Cola exclusive campus, there will be many new beverage offerings.”

When asked about other future changes, Dr. Jackson included that “nutrition remains a top concern for [the college’s] dining services. As such, [Meredith] will be offering expanded vegan options, more bakery options and greater flexibility in catering selections (e.g. small catering events will not need to go through Oaks Catering). As soon as those options are vetted, (Dining Services) will communicate to the larger community.” She also noted that, “Last semester, [the] former Dining Director [of BDH] sought out BIPOC and women owned farms in the area where he could purchase local fruits and vegetables. [The school] will continue with those efforts to have diversity in not only [the]menu but in [the] suppliers.”

Students were also informed that they can now use their CamCards as a form of payment to the vending machines around campus. More information on adding funds to your CamCard can be found here.

Aimalefoa, Catering Manager Larry Holcomb and Chef Ken Dixon are always open to meeting with students. [One] can meet with any of them directly, or by emailing with any feedback, questions or concerns about dining. In addition, Dr. Jackson, is “open to hearing concerns of any changes or ideas that students may have on improving the dining experience.”

By Haileigh West, Reporter


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