1/15/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Dining Services is providing meals to go for The Learning Center Preschool located on Mifflin Avenue in Ashland. The new relationship has been in place since mid-September and has been a great addition for both parties.
According to Fred Geib, AU’s general manager of dining operations, the most important aspect of the new relationship is how efficient it is for both organizations.
Geib said the Learning Center needed a cost effective option due to being a preschool while AU Dining Services wanted to make sure the agreement didn’t increase labor or expenses. Geib said the menu designed for the learning center actually matches up with the menu for AU’s regular dining hall, meaning the meals being prepared are also the meals being served to the students of the university.
“Every morning they contact us with the number of children that will need a meal that day. They tell us of any dietary restrictions such as religion or allergies,” Geib said. “They have a pre-selected menu that works with the dining hall’s regular menu so they can select from items such as macaroni and cheese, taco pizzas and other items that children at a young age would eat. These items are also cost effective. An item like salmon would cost more, as well as the fact that the kids wouldn’t eat it.”
Geib noted that because the children are ages four and five years old, the portion sizes are much smaller and the meals that are selected for the meals-to-go are chosen based on their tastes.
The meals are prepared fresh, as close to the pickup time as possible. They are then placed in travel containers that keep the meals warm. When a Learning Center employee arrives to pick up the meals, they return the containers from the previous day and the rotation continues on to the next day.
“We get about 30 to 55 meals made per day. It all depends on how many kids go to the learning center that day,” Geib said.
Both of the organizations are mutually excited for this partnership. Geib said the relationship adds to the community support that Ashland University provides.
Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###