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Bruins refuse to hibernate: How volunteers are keeping the Caf alive

Belmont staff and Sodexo dining services teamed up to serve meals to the Belmont community during the inclement weather.

Sunday, dining services predicted that not many employees would make it into work due to the recent snow storms. With some communication and planning, the Sodexo team utilized the presence of RDs, RAs, and other volunteers to staff the Harrington Place Dining Hall.

Sherri Lang, Resident Dining manager, called the teamwork a “collaboration between Belmont and Sodexo.” Lang said she was helpful for their work.

“If the RAs and the RDs wouldn’t have been here today, there would only have been five of us working. They’re doing a great job and they’ve been a big help.”

Kyle Grover, Belmont’s resident district manager, said he was grateful for the work.

“We’ve had an incredible week: looking at everybody I was working with at the dining hall, not including retail, we had 43 call-outs on Monday. Yesterday, we actually had 47 call-outs.” said Kyle Grover, district manager.

Between the Sodexo and Belmont collaboration, including 18 Residence Directors, the dining hall successfully fed all of the students. More specifically, 85% of students on a meal plan have been served.

“[Belmont RDs and RAs] are the ones who have been serving all of the food for us. Without them, we would have never made it.”

“It’s been great! Very fun to see our students in this setting, and it’s been a blast to see them so excited to see us in a different role.” said Katherine McCann, Residence Director of Wright Hall. McCann added,

“It’s a tough role of course, but it has definitely given us an additional appreciation for our Caf crew!”

Fellow students and staff alike have also expressed their gratitude towards the situation.

“It’s super cool that Belmont has people that are willing to step up and serve us in the Caf, and I’m super grateful to go to a school where the sense of community is so close that things like this are possible!” said freshman audio engineering technology major Anson Eggers.

Eleri Hadaway, a freshman English major, agreed.

“I think this whole experience has helped us all to appreciate what the Caf staff do every day because we’re seeing what it’s like when they’re not here. There are so many things the Caf workers do that get taken for granted, but I bet a lot of students will be even more grateful for the dining staff’s work when they come back.”

Employees are slowly coming back, explained Grover, but uncertainty remains as to when all employees will be able to safely return.

But greeter and concierge of the dining hall Antonio Peebles feels confident that the Belmont community will continue to rise to the challenge and look after one another.

“It makes me feel good to be able to be here and to take care of you guys because you are away from home. You know, the majority of you don’t have family here. So we become your all’s family. When we come together, it’s just one big family. We’re just helping each other out, do what we need to do to make sure you guys are taken care of.”

“We are Belmont: if one person is out, somebody steps up. That’s what I love about it.”

Article and photos by Isaac Wetzel.

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