The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Dining hall prices almost double since last year at COCC

Fabian ruiz
Chef Tom Kelly

The Coats Campus Building is one of the most important buildings on the Bend Central Oregon Community College Campus. The building is home to many COCC clubs, the Cafe food market and of course the Dining hall.

In the spring of 2023, students without a meal plan would pay $7.45 at the Dining Hall. Now, heading into the winter of 2023 the same meal would cost $10.50.

One of the requirements for living in the COCC dorms is having a meal plan for the Dining Hall. The cheapest plan (basic plan) for students costs $4,735 a year. and that includes 7 meals a week, and $500 flex cash.

Flex cash is money credit that is only allowed to be used at the Dining Hall, the Cafe and the food market for students to pay for food

The Dining hall food is provided by Sodexo USA, an international food service and catering company.

There is not one specific answer that led to the price increase, but Joshua Ortega, a Sodexo employee at COCC, believes it’s just bad luck in the economy.

“Just simply because of inflation and supply chain issues,” said Ortega. However, inflation and supply issues are not the only challenges that the Dining hall is facing. “We were also dealing with a labor shortage… especially about a month ago, I remember one dinner where it had been delayed for 20 minutes. I went to check what was going on and it turned out that there was only one cook back there. I had to drop everything and help the chef,” said Ortega.

“They have a really hard time with staffing,” said Brothaigh McKowen, a third-year student at COCC in the Culinary Program.“That also affects how much food they put out and the quality of food they put out.” Mckowen also worked at the COCC Cafe.

Mckowen mentioned that he would also cook meals for students living in the dorms at COCC.

“I will cook something and feed a couple of people and even if people don’t pitch in for ingredients, I usually feed a lot of people,” said McKowen.

“Food quality is 100% better this year, it may not seem noticeable but it’s better,” said Landon Carrington, a second-year COCC student, and second-year Sodexo employee.

Carrington concluded that during his first year at COCC, he wasn’t able to afford the meal plan by himself, though by working at the Dining hall he was able to get some meals for free.

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