Free food pleases students at Taste of Kent

Noelle Pennyman


Taste of Kent used free food to attract students.

But instead of sitting through a meeting, students just ate.

The event gave away free food yesterday in Risman Plaza to showcase dining locations on campus.

University Dining Services had all 22 dining locations offer samples from their menus. Andrea Spandonis, director of Dining Services, said the event is a great way to show students other places to eat on campus.

Sophomore nursing major Ryan Bahr said he liked the event.

“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for poor college students to get something to eat,” he said.

Samples included pizza and macaroni and cheese from Eastway Cafe, chicken Caesar wraps from Stewart Cafe and chili from Quizno’s Subs.

Eastway Cafe manager Damon Merchant said they made 12 pizzas by 12:45 p.m. for the event. He said students were friendly.

Eugene Walters, marketing manager of Dining Services said Tyson Foods came to support its brands Crustano’s Sandwich Crafters and Sunset Chicken Strips.

“We’ll have a big chicken walking around,” to advertise for Tyson, Walters said.

Walters said he didn’t think the weather would affect the expected attendance.

“You won’t see as many people here,” Walters said. “Will we use all the food? Yes.”

Dining Services provided a fruit stand to showcase various produce products, Spandonis said. She said A. Lopresti & Sons, Inc. was in charge of the fruit stand.

Pat Lopresti, president of A. Lopresti & Sons, Inc., said the company has supplied fruit for Kent State for decades.

Besides traditional dishes, Spandonis said the Kent Market provided international dishes like tabouli and hummus with pita chips.

Donny Taylor, senior international relations major, said the vegetarian dishes served attracted him to the event despite the rain.

“I’m a vegetarian,” Taylor said. “It entices me a little more to stay out.”

Taylor has been a vegetarian for five years. He said eating on campus has become easier since more vegetarian dishes are being served.

Hersey’s Ice Cream’s sales representative Brent Oswald said he didn’t think the attendance was affected by the cold weather.

“We’ve already went through 130 (cups),” said Oswald.

Hersey’s sampled five flavors — Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter Caramel Cookie Dough, Birthday Cake, Pumpkin and Moose Tracks.

“We have over 130 flavors,” Oswald said.

Events Supervisor for Kent Student Center Programming, Autumn Piller, said the event was created to let students know about other eating locations. She said she remembered when she was a freshman and didn’t know of many places to eat.

“It’s more for the students to see where they can use their food plan and what the University Dining Services has to offer,” Piller said.

Pillar gave students a chance to win free gas cards by signing up.

Junior marketing major Elizabeth Kral said she thought the event was a good idea.

“Now I know where the good stuff is at,” she said.

Kral said she couldn’t decide what was her favorite. She said she liked the pizza from Eastway but also Eastway’s macaroni and cheese.

“I’m a food lover,” she said.

Contact room and board reporter Noelle Pennyman at [email protected].