A taste of Kent

Julie McKinney

Allure of free food and entertainment brings students to out Risman Plaza

Jon Bryan, freshman business marketing major, freshman pre-med major Monica Poulson, and Kelsey Henninger, sophomore magazine journalism major, sample fresh fruit from A. LoPresti & Sons produce suppliers at “Taste of Kent” yesterday afternoon. CAITLIN P

Credit: Jason Hall


Free food was the buzz in Risman Plaza yesterday.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. students were either eating or calling their friends to tell them where they could snag a free lunch.

Freshman architecture major Tim Hanlon was at “Taste of Kent” to kill time before class. The wraps were one of Hanlon’s favorites, though he said everything tasted good.

“It always tastes better when it’s free,” he said.

The third annual “Taste of Kent,” put on by Dining Services and Kent Interhall Council programming, showcased everything Dining Services has to offer.

Tables were lined with everything from sweet cereal treats to stuffed chicken samples. Other options included passion fruit, papaya ice tea, Hershey’s ice cream and samples from restaurants at the Hub.

One of the most popular selections was the exotic fruit provided by A. LoPresti & Sons Inc., that provides the majority of produce for Dining Services.

“We wanted to show off all different kinds of produce,” said Pat LoPresti, chair of A. LoPresti & Sons. The fun fruits, she said, caused some students to react with a simple “wow.”

Director of Dining Services Andrea Spandonis told bewildered students to “just give it a try,” as they inspected yellow watermelon, papaya, passion fruits, cactus pears and litchi nuts.

Josh Hay, sophomore integrated social studies major, wasn’t afraid to expand his horizons by sampling a little bit of everything.

“I ate a lot of fruit,” Hay said. “I didn’t know what they were. I just tried everything.”

The goal of Taste of Kent was to get students to try new things and also show them that Dining Services offers many places to eat on campus.

“Expanding your mind – that’s what college is,” Spandonis said while cutting passion fruit into bite-size pieces.

Students also received coupons for the new Boca Grande Burrito stand, located in Prentice Cafe and Kent Market 2.

Dining Services is open to student suggestions. The “Tastes Like Home” program is an opportunity for students to suggest recipes online to John Goehler, assistant director of Dining Services.

“If somebody’s looking for something specific in a unit, come tell us,” Spandonis said. “We don’t bite.”

Contact room and board reporter Julie McKinney [email protected].