Not eating fresh or healthy enough? Now you have two fewer excuses for not doing so.

The Poly Trolley is one of the many food options on campus. (Elizabeth Hernandez | The Poly Post)

Dining Services has created the Eat Well Program in addition to collaborating with the agriculture department to ensure fresh ingredients are incorporated in the menus on campus.

The Eat Well Program aims to build awareness of healthy food choices at the campus food outlets.

Launched in fall of 2017, the program provides food items that align with various diets that students follow, according to Aaron Neilson, director of Dining Services.

And, the agriculture department is working with Dining Services to create healthier and more sustainable options for students.

“Healthy means different things for different people,” Neilson said.

The program separates the variety of food options on campus into four categories: “gains” which offers meals high in protein, “foodie” which is labeled as the “occasional indulgence”, “brain food” which provides an energy boost through antioxidants, and “low cal” which includes items under 350 calories.

The Eat Well Program incorporated “grab and go” items such as salads and sandwiches that fit the commuter lifestyle on campus.

According to the foundation website, the vision of Dining Services is to provide quality services and healthy food options for its customers.

The Marketplace located in the university quad contains a salad bar at Fresh Escape where students can create their own salads and pair it with a soup.

Neilson noted that Fresh Escape may need to refocus on the overall idea of their menu.

Rather than providing several options, focusing on salad may be more beneficial. “It would be more like doing fewer things really well,” said Neilson.

The dining hall on University Drive, Los Olivos, has undergone healthy changes to their menu as well.

Los Olivos improved their menu after collaborating with the agriculture department and Cal Poly’s Food Justice Club. Fresh produce and locally grown ingredients can be found in the meals offered at Los Olivos.

“Our goal is to get healthier options on campus,” said Food Justice Club advisor, Dan Yuhasz. “We are concerned with where our food originates from.”

Los Olivos is not only for the freshman in the dorms; anyone on campus is welcomed to try the healthy options offered.

While the Eat Well Program and the new menu at Los Olivos is a positive step toward Dining Services’ vision, more can be done to improve the food options at Cal Poly Pomona.

Cal Poly has two main dining areas on campus.

The Bronco Student Center is where Peet’s Coffee, Subway and Round Table are found, and the Marketplace holds Panda Express, Taco Bell and Carl’s Jr.

Students are noticing the lack of natural foods in the more popular dining areas on campus.

“It would be great to see fresher items since we are an agriculture school,” said Casey Monoszlay, fourth-year Biology major.

Convenience and affordability is also a major factor in a student’s decision to eat dine on campus.

Often, students eat at the restaurants closest to their classes. The walk to Los Olivos is not exactly a distance that students are willing to take when they want fresher options.

The Bronco Express may be the solution to making the healthy options more accessible on campus.

Fresh and healthy options are available at the Farm Store, too, which is located near the University Village on Temple Ave.

Hop on shuttle B to where fresh sandwiches, produce and even peanut butter await at the Farm Store.

Shuttle services also provide access to the Los Olivos dining hall next to the dorms via route A or B. Students could taste the Mongolian stir fry, the flatbread pizza or the frozen yogurt.

Students should try to make the most of the healthy options that are currently available while Dining Services generates more inclusive menus that are accessible to all students.

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