Dining services frozen due to shortage in staff, supplies

The+Market+at+27th+adjusted+its+food+serving+process+to+enforce+social+distancing+and+decrease+risks+of+spreading+COVID-19.

The Market at 27th adjusted its food serving process to enforce social distancing and decrease risks of spreading COVID-19.

JAKE PUTNAM


[email protected]

UNK sophomore Layla Donscheski speaks a universal truth, “Ice cream is essential for college life and stressful times.” UNK is plagued by a broken ice cream machine.

Students are wondering why the ice cream machine is unplugged, instead of providing frozen soft serve.

Sodexo faces challenges that are out of the staff’s control.

In fact, the ice cream machine has already been fixed but continues to be left out of commission by shortages because of the pandemic.

“We can’t get products because now we have a dairy shortage,” said Eran Harrison, the director of operations at Sodexo. “Here is the funny part — it’s not necessarily a dairy shortage but the plastic that comes with the dairy, so in the next two weeks we’ll probably see shortages on your two percent milk, your skim milks — and we just haven’t been able to get soy milk so far because they don’t have it. We have plenty of milk, just nothing to put it in.”

Many students have the same outlook on the situation as criminal justice major Jonas Hansen. 

“The ice cream machine was one of the things I looked forward to most when it was working,” Hansen said.

Adding to students’ struggles has been the closure of Chick-Fil-A and Subway on the weekends. The restaurant hours have been cut due to a Sodexo worker shortage.

The businesses are returning with weekend hours, which is a bright side for many students.

Harrison explained that with an influx of international students, Sodexo is looking to fill positions, and he is hopeful that in the next two weeks Chick-Fil-A could open on Saturdays and Subway could open on Sundays. 

Sodexo has also had to adjust a larger freshman class than usual.

“Thank you for putting up with us,” Harrison said. “Our main goal is to have everyone fed and serve the best food we can every day and keep the services that we can. Really, thank you for being patient with us, we haven’t had a lot of complaints and everyone has been great and understanding.”

Though COVID-19 continues to linger, the Sodexo staff is optimistic that they will be able to bring back all services to students if circumstances improve.

“If the situation gets better we plan to get everything back to normal as best we can,” Harrison said.