When Christopher Toote first came to the United States from his home in the Bahamas, he arrived in Prairie View, Tex., to attend Prairie A&M University.
That November, he, like many international students, experienced the campus emptying out for the Thanksgiving holiday and he had no plans to travel. When he arrived at the dining hall, he encountered a sign that it was closed.
“I had no idea where else to eat!” he recalled. “I found out the dining halls would not reopen until the students came back Sunday night. It was Wednesday. I was caught off guard! I had to make a plan through Sunday for my meals, and there was no kitchen in my dorm.”
That experience inspired him as the executive director of UChicago Dining to develop a novel strategy to provide a continuous meal service during school breaks, making sure no student skips a meal or feels left behind.
“I mentioned the experience I had as an international student at a leadership forum. Nadeem Zafar, the president of strategic accounts for our dining partner, Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, confirmed he had had a similar experience,” said Toote. Others on the panel agreed that their universities had the same issue.
This article was first published by UChicago College.