The University of Kentucky's Dining Services have been incredibly progressive and have had a positive impact not just here at UK, but throughout Lexington and Central Kentucky.
Dining Services serves food that is sourced locally, grown on farms and orchards right here in Central Kentucky. Some of the food Dining Services serves comes from partnerships with the Agriculture department, where produce and animal products grown and processed by UK students ends up on the plates of their peers. As a Land Grant Institution, UK has a duty to continue to innovate within the agricultural field, and the partnership with Dining Services has helped bring the classroom to life in a sustainable and local way.
Dining Services contributes to the local economy via its local product purchases, but also provides steady employment opportunities to Lexingtonians of all stripes. International students and Lexington-natives alike work side by side, which helps to foster relationships that celebrate our multicultural city. Employment opportunities through Dining Services also offer benefits, competitive wages, and the potential to build a career with the potential for advancement.
Outsourcing UK's Dining Services would take the decision making and benefits of our in house dining program and give them to an outside corporation. Large, multinational corporate entities are bidding for the UK contract, with promises of cutting costs and potentially providing new dining facilities. This is great, sure, but what happens to our partnerships with local farms? The community members and international students whose livelihoods depend on Dining Services? The educational opportunities created by the cooperation of two UK departments? Does the economic health of Lexington particularly concern a company like Sodexo, which operates in 80 countries and is headquartered in France?
Stand in support of our excellent, unique, and community empowering Dining Services. Lexington and UK are full of innovators, thinkers, and problem solvers. Outsourcing might look like a promising and safe way to cut costs, but the long term negative impacts on the community and at UK are far more certain than any financial relief benefits.