WATCH NOW: Carthage students decry moldy, undercooked food | News

Carthage College students say they are deeply unhappy with the quality, price and availability of food on campus. They protested in the student union Wednesday (Feb. 9, 2022).

Daniel Gaitan

Carthage College students say they are deeply unhappy with the quality, price and availability of food on campus.

More than four dozen students protested against the food service company and campus officials Wednesday afternoon in the Campbell Student Union. They said the food is often moldy and undercooked.

Sodexo Dining Services is the food service provider at Carthage.

“As the years have gone on the food has just gotten worse and worse and worse and to the point where now we are getting served undercooked food, we’re finding bugs in our food, mold in the food,” said junior Zoe Moreano.

“Obviously, every student is paying a different amount to be here, but in total everyone is paying a (a lot) to eat and to live on campus. Just in terms of the quality of food we are being given, it’s just not worth what we’re paying. This has been something students have been really upset over for a long time.”

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Moreano said school officials have not responded to student concerns.

Many students end up paying for outside food to be delivered and face financial hardship because of it, the protesting students claimed.

“It’s draining your money,” Moreano said. She said low-income students often go hungry.

“I don’t eat. I (went) to bed hungry probably every night for the past week,” said junior Abigail Groszek. “I eat snacks and I eat chips. I don’t eat at the (cafeteria) anymore.”

Students who live on campus are required to have a meal plan.

An Instagram account documenting examples of campus food has more than 1,300 followers. Many of the images show moldy cheeses and breads and undercooked meats. Some of the foods have insects in them.

“Below are some videos showing some of the food that Carthage has been serving us and also find BarthageCaf_Official on Instagram to see more of what we’ve been dealing with,” said sophomore Jake Kryger in an email to the Kenosha News after the protest.

He said “students shouldn’t have to stand for this.”

Junior Allison Herkey said she went to a local urgent care clinic and believes the college’s food made her ill.

“Last week on Tuesday, I went to urgent care because I was really sick and they asked if I go to Carthage and I said ‘yes.’ I was throwing up for literally eight hours straight. Completely dehydrated.”

Carthage College officials asked a Kenosha News reporter to leave the student union during the protest.

Carthage responds

In a statement released to the Kenosha news after the protest, the college said it was aware of the issues and in the process of selecting a new food service provider to take over all campus dining operations.

“We are frustrated that during this process, our students have experienced an unacceptable decline in both the quality and quantity of food, as well as reductions in operating hours at dining facilities across campus,” the statement reads.

“Campus leadership is meeting with Sodexo management daily to demand solutions, and we are exploring all possible options as we work to hold them accountable to their contractual obligations. The transition to a new food service provider will take several months but in the meantime, we are offering supplemental dining options and working closely with Carthage’s student government association to ensure these options are communicated to our students.”

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