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New dining options rolling out in spring and fall

Dining hall updates True Balance station
An allergen awareness station in the Dining Hall known as True Balance will eliminate seven of the eight most common food allergens and prevent cross-contamination.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) has signed a new 10-year contract with Aramark for dining services on the Dahlonega and Cumming campuses.

Students, faculty and staff on the Dahlonega Campus will notice some major changes in food options this month thanks to the new agreement. UNG officials also said a price decrease for select meal plans will take effect in the fall.

The Comfort Line in the Dining Hall on the Dahlonega Campus has been renamed North Georgia Kitchen as it will highlight fresh, local ingredients and whole proteins.

Meanwhile, an allergen awareness station in the Dining Hall known as True Balance will eliminate seven of the eight most common food allergens and prevent cross-contamination. A registered dietitian will be available at the True Balance station. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options will be available at True Balance.

Some new food items will include chicken fajitas, a mixed grill entrée plate and additional options from the Mongolian grill station.

Old favorites that will remain in the rotation include chicken tender Friday lunch and steak night every third Thursday of the month for dinner.

Gold Rush Diner, located on the second floor of the Dining Hall, will become a late-night food stop in fall 2019, staying open until 2 a.m. during fall and spring semesters and becoming known as Chow House.

Work will start in May on a rebrand of the Einstein Bros. Bagels location in the Hoag Student Center to incorporate the merging of Einstein and Caribou Coffee.

Jerry Sullivan, UNG associate vice president for auxiliary services and real estate, said Aramark hit high marks in food safety, health and nutrition, ingredient quality, taste and variety.

The contract took effect Jan. 1. A campus-wide team including students, faculty and staff participated in the procurement and evaluation process, comparing bids before the contract was awarded.

"The outcome will be healthier, tastier food and better service," Sullivan said.

Thomas Dove, Aramark manager at UNG, anticipates progress under the new agreement.

"The improvement of the dining program will include a plan that keeps pace with UNG's evolving dining needs and preferences," Dove said. "Our commitment to program enhancements for the campus community includes restructuring specific offerings, introducing special events such as guest chef appearances and more."

DeEnna Walters, executive director of Auxiliary Services and related units, said the new contract is a win for everyone on campus.

"Aramark listened carefully to the evaluation committee's concerns and requests and submitted the best proposal," Walters said.

The contract will not affect dining options on the Blue Ridge, Gainesville or Oconee campuses.

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