By: Melody Howe ‘22 NEWS Reporter
This year Mercersburg has hired a new food service to replace Sage: Meriwether Godsey. They have had to contend not only with the task of learning the needs of a new community but of doing so under the restrictions of the pandemic. Because of the coronavirus protocols on campus, during the quarantine period the new service delivered meals directly to the dorms. This required that they manage meticulous planning:delivering to nearly 400 students in multiple dorms at scheduled times, accommodating dietary restrictions, providing balanced meals, and packaging these meals for transport. This new experience has been an experiment for the cooking staff, the faculty, and the students.
During the quarantine period students did not have access to the dining hall, and had to become accustomed to eating at scheduled times, with limited food options. “It’s cold and I’m also a picky eater so there are not many options,” Maddie Schermerhorn ‘22 commented. Students with dietary restrictions have applauded the service’s ability to accommodate their needs. Joshua Terris ‘22 stated, “I like the vegetables, and I love that they constantly have a vegan option. On the other hand, I wish they’d stop giving me substitutes and stop giving me food with honey in it.” Numerous students wish the dining service could provide more than one option and serve warmer food, but many have hope that this will change once the dining hall re-opens. Others add that more simple meals involving pasta and rice would be enjoyable.
Students who have attended Mercersburg Academy during previous years have compared the new dining experience to the old service, Sage Dining. Meriwether Godsey has added higher quality meat, according to Maddy Stang ’22: “The chicken is more enjoyable than Sage’s.” Many stated that the chicken tenders and chicken wings are quickly becoming personal favorites. Students have also enjoyed Meriweather Godey’s breakfasts in particular, such as the bacon, pancakes, and breakfast burritos. “I liked Sage, honestly, but I like this food a little more. I feel it just has a little more flavor and it’s less dry,” Terris ‘22 explained.
The improvements in the food since the beginning of the year are noticeable. Chris Jetter ‘22 added, “The first few days of food weren’t the best of quality but it has picked up so far and is pretty good.” In the past week, the cooking staff have been doing their best to improve for the convenience and liking of students and faculty. Furthermore, students have recognized and appreciated the variety the new dining service has to offer. “They’re definitely mixing up the food they serve each day and each meal; not a lot has been similar,” Griffin Lange ‘22 claimed.
Considering that the students of Mercersburg come from different cultures around the world, focusing on food diversity is important. Although it is difficult to satisfy the needs of every student, we look forward to working with Meriwether Godsey as they become part of our community..