Kids in town for inaugural get a taste of college food
It is likely to be a trip they'll be telling their grandkids about. Over the three-day holiday weekend leading up to Inauguration Day on January 20, over 15,000 junior high and high school students (and their accompanying adults) swarmed around the University of Maryland for the quadrennial Presidential Youth Inaugural conference.
It was also a daunting task for UM Dining Services, which was faced with seeing that they were all fed. The 2009 conference were about five times larger than usual, because of the concurrent opportunity to be in Washington to witness Barack Obama's historic inauguration. The department's solution was to serve a combination of more than 23,000 bagged lunches and 14,000 hot served dinners.
The menu for day one included turkey and cheese sandwiches, fruit, chips, cookie and bottled water; the second day featured chicken fajita wraps, fruit, pretzels, brownie and bottled water. Vegetarian and gluten-free lunches were also available.
Lunches were assembled the evening before distribution in three different refrigerated prep kitchens and transported to a central warehouse for overnight storage. Before dawn on the day of service, the lunches and pallets of bottled water were trucked to seven staging areas in the campus' main parking lot. Each staging area was set-up before the first buses arrived on campus.