Valley Food Service Management Company is responsible for all meal services from the Deli, the cafeteria, and the new Apache Plains Café.
TJC recently renewed its contract with Valley for at least one more year.
The contract is an agreement to the same contract that has been in place since 2002, with an amendment, but many students don’t agree with the product that Valley is presenting to students.
Most of the complaints come from students who live on campus. These student’s meal plan fees are included in fees for their dorm rooms.
“They don’t have a variety of food,” said sophomore Kelcie Miller.
Ben Atkins, Valley’s Food Service Coordinator for TJC, the Deli is the most student used food facility on campus, followed by the Apache Plains Café students than and the cafeteria.
“The Deli is a good place to go when you don’t want to eat what’s in the cafeteria, but you end up going there every day because you don’t want what’s in the cafeteria.” said Meagan Coleman.
And Alison Eaves said, “I like the breakfast, but the rest of the meals are bad.”
On weekends, both the Apache Plains Café and the Deli are closed.
The weekends are also when the students feel that the quality of the product in cafeteria is at its worst.
“On the weekends, there is no point in going to the cafeteria.” Coleman said.
On campus The Apache Plains is the newest part of the TJC campus located next to the on the campus bookstore in the area that was most recently the Wings N Things last semester. When students returned for the fall 2008 semester, Wings N Thing was gone.
The Apache Plains Café is a Southwest inspired bistro, which severs various snacks as well as burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and salads.
According to Ben Atkins the Apache Plains Café is doing well, but is receiving mixed reviews from students.
One of the students’ concerns about Apache Plains Café isn’t really a complaint about the food that is now served there but what isn’t served there.
But students aren’t just dissatisfied with the some of the quality of food but they also aren’t happy with the quality of service.
Many students also feel that the cafeteria is often not adequately prepared on a daily basis for students. “It’s horrible they don’t even stay stocked on syrup,” said Sandra Hampton a Health and Kinesiology major here at TJC.
When Atkins was asked about this he said that Wings and Things is gone, but mentioned that the wings were still availed in the cafeteria.
Atkins said that the Wings and Thing’s was not really making enough business, which is why it was closed down.
Akins said the reason that area that is now the Apache Plains Café is changed so often he “We just haven’t found a good fit for that space.” Akins said
Atkins did say that they are looking for ways to incorporate the wings in to the cafeteria menu and make them a regular item.
Atkins also stated that they were working out some of the problems students have had in the past, especially the quality of food on the weekends.
“We serve about 4500 meals a day” Said Atkins. “When have to think about that and create and come up with recipes in large quantities.”
Atkins Feels that on weekend’s that the quality should be better than it has been in the past, because they do sever less students, because many students go out of town on the weekends.
“One of my goals is to get it where the students may go home on the weekends, but try to make back home for Sunday dinner,” said Atkins
“We want the students to give us their opinions and what they think that we should do to make their dining experience better here at TJC.” Atkins later stated.
Atkins emphasized the Food Advisory Board Meeting, which is held every other Monday at five in the staff dining area and students are welcome to attend.
“We constantly try to change to the students desires,” Atkins said.