BC has to expand their food options


Madeline Ruebush

Monique Armstrong holds the food she just ordered from the cafeteria grill.

Madeline Ruebush, Reporter

Burgers, pizza, fries and so much more are available for BC students at the Dining Hall cafeteria. But there’s something that is missing from their menu: food that accommodates all students at BC.

The cafeteria food, though tasty, is greasy, meat-centric, and sometimes unhealthy which can create barriers for some of the students who rely on the food here.

Lydia Herrera has attended BC on and off since 2012. She’s a full-time mom, works and is in the process of getting her degree in Early Childhood Education. She also suffers from many health conditions. She said that the grease-filled options at the cafeteria would “put me into a diabetic coma.”

Besides a lack of healthy options for her diabetes, Herrera, also has a hard time digesting certain types of foods, specifically the spicy ones because they give her bad acid-reflux. She wishes that the cafeteria would limit the spice level in their foods.

Lydia Herrera sits at a table in the dining hall wearing a blue blouse. She is looking at the camera and has her homework on the table.
Lydia Herrera sits at a table in the Dining Hall working on her schoolwork. (Madeline Ruebush)

When asked what the cafeteria could do to accommodate her better, Herrera said that having more vegetables and fruits, lean meat options such as grilled chicken instead of fried or turkey sausage, and alternative bread options, as well as a salad bar for more salad options would all benefit her immensely.

More choices would save her time.  “My day is full of things I have to do, from sun-up to sun-down,” she said.

She wishes that she didn’t have to worry about packing herself a lunch along with everything else.

Herrera is often in the cafeteria with her friends Anthony Villines and Monique Armstrong who also mentioned that they have problems with the cafeteria food.

Villiness suffers from Congestive Heart Failure and must watch what he eats. He said that the cafeteria food options are not healthy enough for him to eat. They are too greasy and there aren’t enough salad options. He also mentioned that the unhealthy food is often less expensive than the salads.

Monique Armstrong sitting with her friends Juan and Lan in the Dining Hall.
Monique Armstrong sitting with her friends Juan and Lan in the Dining Hall. (Madeline Ruebush)

Armstrong, like Herrera, has digestive issues. Although she often eats at the cafeteria, she sees that the grease and spice will often give her acid-reflux. She said that she sometimes tries to bring a lunch because of this.

The menu also doesn’t accommodate students who don’t eat meat. Cord Swanson works as a tutor at BC and is a vegetarian. They said that they “don’t ever eat at the cafeteria” because there just aren’t very many options for them. Besides the cheese pizza, salad, and sometimes soup, there is just not enough choices for them to justify paying for the cafeteria food. Cord said that they would like to see a vegetarian pizza option and mentioned also wanting a salad bar. They said that if some of these changes were implemented, they would stop by the cafeteria more often.

The cafeteria has also been dealing with a staffing shortage this semester, but luckily this has been addressed, said Mirian Fuentes who works at the cafeteria as Assistant Three. She said that management has already brought in 10 new student workers and that because of that, they have been able to open until 5 p.m. recently.

Mirian Fuentes, Assistant 3 at the BC cafeteria, posing behind the counter after lunch rush hour.
Mirian Fuentes, Assistant 3 at the BC cafeteria, posing behind the counter after lunch rush hour. (Madeline Ruebush)

When asked about food options at BC, she said that they are expanding – in reference to the new Starbucks – and that they are trying to bring in different cultural offerince, specifically with their daily specials.

She also stated that the cafeteria tries not to waste food, so they prefer making not enough food than too much food. She emphasized that they never put out day-old food; it’s always fresh. They also don’t have a lot of storage, Fuentes said. This makes it hard to create too wide a range of selections.

But it still seems like there is room to improve. Students with health problems are especially hit hard with the lack of healthy food options. Hopefully BC can remedy this issue in the coming years, because the issue is hurting their most vulnerable students.