Five Pillar Approach:
UNBC strives to create and maintain a food services solution made up of two engaged Service Partners. These partners are the FSP (Food Services Provider) and UNBC. This imperative relationship will be nurtured by both parties to ensure everyone is on the same page. Overall focus remains consistently on the student experience. Concerns, issues and challenges will be addressed continuously. The goal is to find the best solution for students and other FSP clients. Solutions will be found and executed by working together. All representatives of each Service Partner will be engaged in this relationship, and will actively participate as appropriate.
UNBC’s philosophy around provision of food includes the following five pillars. It is based on a foundation of positive student experiences as a shared priority between UNBC and FSP.
- Indigenous Priorities
UNBC students and employees recognize and acknowledge the ancestors and the traditional territories of the First Nations. These are their lands where we offer education and learning.
The UNBC motto is ‘En cha huná, which means ‘respect for all living things’ in the Dakelh language. This motto encapsulates UNBC’s spirit and the principles of academic freedom. It includes respect for others, and the willingness to recognize different perspectives.
Northern British Columbia is unique in that 17.4% of its residents are of First Nations descent. This compares to 4.8% for the province as a whole. Approximately 12% of UNBC’s student population self-identify as Indigenous. Needs of these students include specific and respectful food options and associated cultural components. Substantial consultation with campus Indigenous communities is necessary for implementation of any and all Indigenous food components.
The FSP will be expected to actively consider Indigenous needs. This includes food options as they relate to Indigenous and other cultural service practices.
- Local and Sustainable
The FSP is required to work with the University to expand use of locally raised, grown, produced food. It is important for the FSP to be an engaged partner as the University grows capacity.
As Canada’s “Green University”, UNBC values sustainability in its many forms, including environmental and social.
Reduction of single use plastics, waste reduction, and sustainably, ethically and locally sourced food is important to the UNBC community. Food insecurity is also a community concern and UNBC Food Services plays a role in providing solutions.
There exists a tremendous appetite for further sustainability initiatives to be implemented.
- Variety / Quality / Value
The UNBC campus community wants variety, quality and value from their Food Services. Quality of food offerings, variety of healthy choices, and price is a priority. The ability to handle special requests related to dietary restrictions is of utmost importance.
- Nutrition and Dietary Restriction Awareness
Approximately 47% of the UNBC campus community reports having dietary restrictions based primarily on food-sensitivities, lifestyle choices, or allergies. Nutritional support, education tools, best practice in menu planning, and clear labelling are important to UNBC. Specifically, as these topics relate to dietary restrictions.
- Engagement & Marketing
At UNBC community is a top priority. Much emphasis is placed on positive relationships, transparency, proactive communication and consultation with the campus population. Problems and challenges are best addressed through a process of collaboration. Every part of a team delivering food services at UNBC has responsibility to maximize these engagement processes.
An innovative and informed marketing strategy, combined with a minimum dollar spend, will strengthen UNBC food services. It will maximize lead conversion and campus alignment. There exists room for growth in Food Services participation by commuter students, staff and faculty. With effective marketing the FSP could increase engagement and participation by this segment.