HFS workers preparing Spring Fling fare
Food service staff members Robert Williams (left) and Kyle Trapp measure individual portions of trail mix for Purdue employees who will attend this year's Spring Fling. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
As Purdue employees look forward to Spring Fling on Thursday, more than 20 Housing and Food Services workers are toiling to ensure that the event's lunch is prepared and served successfully.
Michael Ellis, assistant operations manager in the Central Production Kitchen in Meredith Hall, says more than 20 workers will make the 4,000 turkey sandwiches, 2,500 ham sandwiches and 500 vegetable sandwiches needed. The work will take place today, Tuesday and Thursday.
Along with trail mix -- bagged last week -- and apples, chips, pretzels, carrots and ice cream, the sandwiches will be served during Spring Fling or packed into bags for pickup that day.
Although the sandwiches are made during the course of three days, HFS staff members spend weeks ensuring that the kitchen will have the proper ingredients and enough help to get everything done, Ellis says.
"It's definitely a big deal getting all of the food ready for Spring Fling," Ellis says. "Making a meal for more than 6,000 people is a big undertaking, but there's so much planning involved that it's been going smoothly."
This year, 16 of the 23 staff members making sandwiches typically are based at Wiley Dining Court, which has available workers due to a shutdown this summer, Ellis says. Those workers will move temporarily to Meredith Hall to help with the sandwiches. Central Production Kitchen staff members, including several part-time student workers, make up the rest of the sandwich-making workers.
Cindy Albertson, assistant production supervisor in the Central Production Kitchen, helps coordinate the assembly line of workers making sandwiches for Spring Fling. Each day of preparation involves meeting a quota of sandwiches that must be sealed for freshness as soon as they're prepared.
"It takes a lot of teamwork to accomplish this, but we're very efficient," Albertson says.
Pickup lunches for employees unable to attend Spring Fling can be picked up from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the back dock of Meredith Hall. Signs will be posted near Meredith Hall to direct those picking up carryout meals to the correct location. Carryout lunches had to ordered by May 11.Spring Fling will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at and around Memorial Mall.