UMF Dining Hall Introduces Reusable To-Go Containers

By Annie Newman, Staff Writer.

With the Dining Hall returning to “normal,” one new addition combines the accommodating ways of COVID-19 with UMF’s drive for eco-friendliness: reusable to-go containers.

They allow students to take home a meal or any leftovers from the Dining Hall with a $5 deposit that the student gets back at the end of the year. For those who wish to socially distance themselves, it provides a meal without needing to be in the crowded dining hall.

“You fill up whatever you want in here with food, you bring us back the container, rinse it out, and we’ll give you another one,” manager for Sodexo at UMF Adam Vigue said. “We wash all the containers so we make sure it’s safe, so it’s gone through the Board of Health.”

As of Sept. 7, Vigue estimated that the dining hall had given out between 20 to 25 of them.

One of the bigger benefits that the containers promote is the drastic reduction of trash. Dex LaFrance, a sophomore at UMF, remembers last year when this was not the case.

“The plastic packets with the napkin and the plastic utensils, those were all over campus last year,” LaFrance said.

“We’re going through way less trash packaging wise,” Vigue said Sept. 13. “Last year we had a dumpster that we needed to bring in just to keep up with all the trash we had. We no longer need that.”

As a campus that prides itself on sustainability, the disappearance of styrofoam and plastic-packaged meals can be a welcoming sight in the dining hall. With the reusable containers, sustainability on the tail-end of a pandemic is on the rise.