On Earth Day, Transylvania’s food service partner, Bon Appétit Management Company, would normally have a special menu for students, faculty and staff featuring local food providers. Instead, they were highlighted by a national publication for helping feed Lexington’s homeless.
Since March 30, when clients of Lexington’s Hope Center moved into the Beck Center, Bon Appétit has been providing meals to the men calling the university’s athletic center their temporary home. It’s made possible due to a collaboration between Bon Appétit, Transylvania and the Hope Center.
“I am so proud of my staff for stepping up without hesitation to help,” said Chris Harris, Bon Appétit’s general manager at Transylvania. “When we deliver the food and receive thanks from all of the folks at the Beck Center, it really puts it into perspective. There are people out there who could use some help, and it’s a good feeling to be able to provide that to them.”
“We are so happy that Bon Appétit partnered with the university to be able to provide food service to our Hope Center guests,” said Marc Mathews, vice president for finance and business. “Transy committed to continue payments to Bon Appétit so that all of its employees could continue to be employed for the remainder of the academic year. Bon Appétitt has been able to provide its amazing farm-to-fork food for just the cost of the groceries, which the Hope Center is covering.”
Forbes included this unique partnership in a story posted April 22 discussing how companies across America are sharing their expertise and resources in their communities. The article highlighted efforts at the University of Chicago and Transylvania.
“Bon Appétit Management Company is the renowned company that manages the on-site cafés for many marquee organizations — from Google, Facebook and Oracle in tech to some of the most respected public and private universities in the U.S. [In] Lexington, KY, the Bon Appétit team is feeding chef-designed lunches and dinners to 50 homeless men whom Transylvania University has currently volunteered to house in its practice gym.”Forbes.com
“We prepare everything here in our kitchen, package the meals in individual boxes, and along with the drinks, cart them to where they are staying,” Harris explained.
And the menu for the Hope Center’s clients is pure Bon Appétit. A recent lunch included locally cured and smoked ham ciabatta sandwiches with local greens, tomato, onion, herb aioli and spicy chowchow relish. For dinners, the Transy team featured house-made focaccia pies with a nice house salad on one night, followed by roasted turkey breast with smashed Yukon gold potatoes and green beans the next.
The Bon Appétit team is also using this time when they would normally be serving students to prepare to move to the new Campus Center, which is scheduled to open by the end of the summer. The new facility will feature a full dining facility, as well as a smaller takeout grill.