Food Vendor Task Force looks to change up food options on campus

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ASCC President Juan Ramirez is part of The Food Vendor Task Force that will have to put together a proposal to the Board of Trustees for the potentially 16 new vendors that could be on campus by the end of the Spring 2014 semester.

“We just meet every other week on Tuesdays and discuss issues like how we can address the needs of the daytime students and the nighttime students, because they have different needs in relation to food, ” Ramirez said.

All of the vendors, including the current vendors on campus, will also have to go through the a process and be graded on a 1-100 point scale.

The process is going to continue until February and March of 2014, but the main focus of getting a new vendor will be having healthier options for the food on campus.

“There is actually an evaluation committee that is going to be reviewing these applications, but in relation to healthy food it looks like we just might pull it off. The students just might get what they want, which is the healthier food franchise here on campus,” Ramirez said.

The points are based from the vendors experience and qualifications to their menu offerings and pricing, which accounts for 40 percent of the score.

To get an idea of what the students want on campus, Ramirez worked with Mark Logan and conducted a survey during the beginning of the Spring 2013 semester.

Seventy-seven percent of the people that responded said that they eat on campus at least once a week and 43 percent of them spend around five to eight dollars a day on the food.

Thirty-nine percent of the students requested that a Subway would be put on campus and healthy fresh food was one of the qualities that students were looking for.

“Yes. This is one of the initiatives. ASCC has been actively working with (the) Purchasing (Department) on this initiative for about a year and was also one of the reasons why a food services survey was conducted last year,” Logan said about getting healthier options on campus.

Criminal justice major Alec Torres can see how getting more options on campus can change the way people eat.

“It would actually help people out and have a diet from that. It would benefit more people to help them watch what they eat and it will benefit Cerritos (College),” Torres said.

There will be another survey conducted toward the end of the year and Ramirez plans for there to be a prize for the respondents.

“I am planning on actually taking money out from my own account to pay for a raffle prize, in order to encourage students to fill out this survey, because we need this information when we go up to the board and present the awards,” he said.

The board then reviews the vendor’’s qualifications and will award them with three-year contracts throughout the 2016-2017 school year with two one-year options after. The urgency to go healthy has been happening all over the country and it is now in full force here at Cerritos College.

“They notice the demand for different food here on campus. So with the demand for change, eventually comes change,” Ramirez said.