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Good food can be hard to find for students with late classes

Many students who have late classes at Algonquin have the choice to bring their own food or to ignore their hunger.

“If I need a coffee, I don’t have a place [to go] or even [somewhere] to eat something good because I only have access to the machine foods,” Gabriella Castro, 32, project management student explained.

Casto’s classes start around 6 p.m. and go until 10 p.m. Although she can grab something at the Marketplace and head off to class, by this time in the day the options are limited.

“I don’t perform well when I’m hungry,” Castro said.

Castro explained that she wishes that the food locations on campus would stay open a little longer to provide the students there with something to eat between classes.

“I have water but that doesn’t really help,” Hamavadhi Prabhakaran, 26, project management explained. “You either bring your own stuff or you have nothing.”

Although there are late options available at the school such as the Portable Feast that is open until 8:30 p.m. and 35th Street Market located in the Algonquin residence which is open until 12 a.m. weekdays and 1 a.m. weekends.

Prabhakaran’s classes are one after the other where she has to get from B-building to P-building, so she doesn’t have time to take a detour to 35th Street Market or the Portable Feast.

Many students find that the food services are not always geared towards their schedule. However, there are good reasons why they aren’t open 24-7.

“When we get closer to the end of the day it is not feasible for us to continue operations because there’s not a lot of students on campus,” Andre Villeneuve, 42, senior operations manager for food services explained. “Over the past years we have had a history of sales, we’re able to make educated guesses like when our busy periods are and when we don’t have any busy periods.”

Villeneuve is aware of the issues that some students are facing but knows that for the limited amount of students who do have classes later in the evening it would not be practical from a business point of view to keep the locations open past 10 p.m.

“Depending on when the classes are, we do have places open later,” Villeneuve said.”We do have varied operating hours for the evening.”

Villeneuve explained that the Observatory is open until 10 p.m. on weekdays, the Marketplace is open until 7 p.m., Tim Hortons on campus is open until 7 p.m. Bits ‘n Bytes is open until 7:30 p.m., the Portable Feast is open until 8:30 and 35th Street Market located in the Algonquin residence is open until 12 a.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.

But, not only are food locations open later for students, they are also open very early so students can quickly grab their food and get to their classes.

“In all our outlets we do have a lot of fresh items that are made in-house that we send out from our main kitchen,” Villeneuve said. “They (the executive chef) plan out a menu, plan out items that are dispatched to all our outlets.”

Villeneuve and his team are always trying to have a variety of options available for students and as of fall of 2017 they have started incorporating locally-sourced food to their kitchen.

Although students are still struggling with bringing food from home and starving in class, the college is always trying to do its best to provide for the students by creating different options and times. For students who don’t have late classes but choose to stay at the school past 10 p.m., there are still options for them.

Students do have the option to walk to Summerhays which is open until 1 a.m., Pizza Pizza which is open until 2 a.m., Tim Hortons on Navaho Drive which is open 24-hours as well as Loblaws in College Square.


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