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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘A great opportunity’: Cargill Cafe meal exchange program offers dining hall alternative

Jacinda Hall
Food display at Cargill Cafe inside Woolsey Hall. Earlier this semester, WSU dining services introduced an exchange program for residents in The Suites and The Flats where students can choose three items for breakfast and three items for lunch from Cargill Cafe.

For students living in Shocker Hall, getting meals tends to be a quick trip to the dining hall connected to the building. For students in The Flats and The Suites, though, getting meals requires a much longer walk from the opposite side of campus. Cargill Cafe, located in Woolsey Hall, is offering a solution through a meal exchange program.

The cafe, open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., provides meals to students for free. There is no set menu, but students can typically choose a beverage, chips and a sandwich or other entree. The program also includes vegan and vegetarian options.

According to Jamie Kraisinger, Wichita State’s senior director of Dining Services, the program is open to all students with an unlimited meal plan, but students are limited to one breakfast and one lunch per day.

“On an unlimited plan, it equates to one meal swipe at the dining hall,” Kraisinger said. “Even if you are on an unlimited program, it is limited to just one breakfast and one lunch, just so we make sure we have enough items for everybody to take advantage of.”

Kierstin Nesbitt, a residence assistant at The Suites, appreciates the convenience and quality of the food provided by the program.

“It’s a great opportunity and a chance to be able to just walk right up there and get your food,” Nesbitt said. “It’s actually pretty good meals, and there’s a variety, too. I really like that, especially for a lot of residents who just want to get their food, go back to their room and start studying instead of having to walk 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back.”

Natalia Rojas, a resident at The Suites, said she is frustrated with the distance between the dining hall and her dorm.

“I hate it so much because I love living here, and the distance is the worst part,” Rojas said. “For lunch, (the dining hall is) really convenient because it’s just there between all the buildings themselves. But for dinner, I don’t like to always make food, and I do not want to go all the way over in the dark in the cold.”

Nesbitt, who eats most of her meals during the week from the restaurants at the Rhatigan Student Center, appreciates the variety provided by the Cargill Cafe; however, she hopes to see more dining options for students in the future.

“It would be nice to have closer restaurants,” Nesbitt said. “We have the restaurants that are like the Social Tap and stuff like that, but a lot of them don’t accept dining (dollars). So I think that’d be really cool to have an opportunity to have a wider variety of things like this.” 

Kraisinger said the Cargill Cafe will “most definitely” continue the program to serve students in future semesters.

“We’re hoping, in the long run, to be able to add some hot items to it,” Kraisinger said. “We’re looking at next semester expanding the sushi menu and continuing with that, fingers crossed … We want to make sure we’re as accommodating while students are on campus as possible.”

According to Kraisinger, the program, which currently serves about 50 students a day, also creates minimal waste.

“We’re trying to be very sustainable,” Kraisinger said. “What happens is we take sandwiches over fresh every day. If they are not sold, they are either taken to the Groundhouse for sale or they are donated to the Shocker Hall team just to hand out.”

Rojas encourages other students to take advantage of the program.

“If you’re really busy and you’re in the area, it’s super convenient, and it’s free,” Rojas said. “It’s literally like the dining hall, all the things are good quality. So go ahead and try it. There’s literally nothing you can lose.”

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About the Contributors
Avery Gathright
Avery Gathright, Reporter
Avery Gathright is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. Gathright is a secondary education major with an emphasis in English. She hopes to eventually teach AP Literature. Gathright uses she/her pronouns.
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Podcast Editor
Jacinda Hall is the podcast editor for The Sunflower. Hall is a junior majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in English literature. Her favorite quote is by Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” In her free time, Hall likes to go to the gym, crochet and make fancy beverages. Hall's pronouns are she/her.

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