It was not a normal dining experience March 20 for students eating at New Hall: A table filled with fruits and vegetables caught students’ eyes and curiosities.
Among the 40 unusual choices, “we had jack fruit, persimmon, Japanese pear, ugly fruit from Jamaica and dragon fruit, to name a few,” said Jose Rotor, senior nutrition and dietetics major. “We wanted to let students experience fruits and vegetables like that they probably never heard of or tried.”
The two-hour event wasn’t planned overnight, of course.
Members of the Student Dietetic Association (SDA), Student Food Committee and NIU Dining started preparing for this event during the fall semester with help from alum Chris Dalmares, produce supplier for NIU Dining.
“We were planning this event for a while and wanted to have it during spring semester,” Rotor said. “What better time to have this event than in March, which is National Nutrition Month?”
SDA members worked to put together the nutritional information on cards for each fruit and vegetable; the special table was staffed by members of SDA, Delmares and Richard Fritz, director of NIU Dining.
“Chris was very engaging and talking to everyone about certain fruits and vegetables,” said Rachel McBride, senior nutrition and dietetics major. “Chris’ passion for fruits and vegetables was spreading to everyone.”
Overall reaction from students who attended was quite positive, she added.
“A few people from the NIU VEG Club came and love the event and the selection,” McBride said. “One student asked this event was going to happen again really soon.”
NIU Dining officials hope to host this event again during the fall semester, Fritz said.
by Brandon Grosz