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Cafeteria improves meal-time selections by adding
more vegetarian based meals for students and faculty

By Margaret Damghani
Staff Writer

Vegetarian meal options are improving with time at UNCP.
After the dining hall was expanded in 2002, Sodexho Executive Chef John Campbell was promoted to Director of Operations of UNCP Food Services in 2004.

John Campbell, operations director of Sodexho Food Services, plans healthy and varied vegetarian choices.

Photo By Margaret Damghani
John Campbell, operations director of Sodexho Food Services, plans healthy and varied vegetarian choices.

Sodexo Food Services

Sodexho Food Services is a nationwide company that manages UNCP’s dining hall. UNCP can choose from different regional menus.

UNCP uses the menu prepared for the Southeast Region of the country. 

These menus provide two vegetarian options for each meal, according to Campbell.

UNCP serves one of the vegetarian options on the main entrée line each day, according to supply and availability.

UNCP’s Dining Hall features six different lines or bars for students to choose food from:

• Classic Cuisine (Main Entrée Line)
• Farmer’s Market (Salad Bar)
• Deli Creations (Sandwiches)
• Hot off the Grill (Grill Station)
• Chef’s Corner (Food is cooked to order)
• Changing Tastes (Bar of the Day)

Catering to Vegetarians

Each of these lines caters to vegetarians in different ways.

The main entrée line usually features some type of pasta,
stir-fry, or rice and beans for vegetarians.

Tofu is also common in the main entrées.

“We have signs at each station saying what the vegetarian options are and nine out of 10 requests we can accommodate for,” Campbell says.

Future plans

Next year the dining hall may add a permanent baked potato or pasta bar, which would benefit vegetarians, according to Campbell.

Another idea Campbell has discussed is to add tabouli, a healthy vegetarian salad, to the salad bar.

Vegetarians on campus

Campbell estimates that about 5 percent of the students he serves are vegetarian, although UNCP does not keep up with statistics on vegetarians.

Last year he received a few comment cards from vegetarians which helped him plan better for this year. 

“I know we can make things better for them,” Campbell says.

Dine with the manager

Campbell encourages students to sign up to “dine in with the manager” Mike Nance, and talk with him about suggestions or concerns with the menu.

The general manager is Mike Nance.

“They do the best they can and it’s appreciated,” junior Liddia Spencer, a vegetarian, says. “I think they get better with time.”

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
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Updated: Monday, April 24, 2006
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