WNMU Partners with Aramark, Bringing Change to Mustang Dining

WNMU is partnering with Aramark Collegiate Hospitality to bring new dining options to the university’s students, faculty and staff. Aramark will assume operation of Mustang Dining on July 1.

© Western New Mexico University

Students, staff and faculty can expect to see changes coming soon to Mustang Dining. Beginning July 1, WNMU will be partnering with Aramark Collegiate Hospitality, part of the global food services and hospitality company Aramark, to revamp meal offerings on campus.

With the change to Aramark, diners can expect to find new stations in the cafeteria and new menu choices. Beyond the dining hall, Mustang Dining will continue to offer catering services.

The decision to shift from Sodexo to Aramark came at the end of Sodexo’s eight-year contract with WNMU. The university opened up the dining contract for proposals and received several, with Aramark Collegiate Hospitality being selected as the best fit for the university’s needs. Sodexo was the university’s dining services provider for more than 20 years.

The partnership with Aramark offers new opportunities for WNMU to reduce its carbon footprint while fostering inclusivity. “Simply put,” said Aramark, “we are working to reduce inequity, support and grow our communities, and protect our planet.” The company indicated that there are several ways it intends to do this at WNMU, including working with local farmers and food providers to source locally grown products, supporting local food banks to address food insecurity, and providing eco-friendly packaging and reusable to-go containers.

Aramark also plans to use a variety of platforms to listen to students and respond to their needs and wants. “Student success arises from a strong support system,” said Aramark, “and as a partner for the whole student community, we believe in providing ample opportunities for engagement, enrichment, and education so everyone feels heard and like they belong at WNMU and that this is a place where they can succeed.”

WNMU Vice President of Business Affairs Kelley Riddle said that she is pleased to move forward with Aramark. “I expect our students will find the partnership with Aramark will provide an exciting, nourishing, and dependable dining experience,” she said.

This expectation was echoed by Jason Quimby, Director of Housing and Residence Life. “As a university we seek to provide the best nutrition for our students to allow them to function at a level commensurate with the challenges of a college education,” he said. “Accessibility, nutrition education, and food sustainability are paramount in making our decisions with regards to our food vendors. We felt as a university Aramark fit the bill to make the aforementioned criteria a priority. We look forward to our new partnership and we have high hopes it will reinvigorate the student body, leaving them satisfied with their time here at Western New Mexico University.”

The partnership is also welcomed by Aramark. “It is always thrilling to open on a beautiful and unique campus like Western New Mexico University,” said Jim Accardi, Regional Vice President for Aramark Collegiate Hospitality. “We will look to complement this appealing location by bringing local flavors to the dining halls, enhancing the catering capabilities on site, and to surpass students’ requests when it comes to dietary preferences and allergen needs. Our partnership with the community is paramount, and we look forward to ongoing conversation and dining evolution.”

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