Nutrition and Dietetics Department to Offer Boxed Lunch Catering Service
Saint Louis University’s Nutrition and Dietetics department has recently announced that it will now be offering catering services for groups that need boxed lunches for events on campus.Student Kat Czerpaniak and SLU chef Shaina Steinbrueck (right) prepare sandwiches as part of the new boxed lunch program launched by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.
These orders will be prepared and available for pick-up at the Salus Center – the department’s second location for food preparation - located at the intersection of Grand and Lafayette. The Nutrition and Dietetics department’s other food preparation is Fresh Gatherings Café, which has operated as a dine-in café and an event-catering service in the ground floor of the Allied Health Building on SLU’s South Campus for years.
The members of the Nutrition and Dietetics department are excited to provide this new catering service to the SLU community; however, the SLU community will not be the only group benefitting from the operation. Local small businesses and local farmers will be positively affected by the catering service as well because the boxed lunch catering team will be stressing the importance of using locally grown foods. Fresh Gatherings Sous Chef and leader of the boxed lunch catering service Shaina Steinbrueck spoke about the desire to use local products.
“I am purchasing local products from our farmers as well as small, local businesses,” Steinbrueck said. “It’s a great way to both give back to our community as well as educate people about the advantages of eating locally sourced foods without pesticides, hormones and genetically modified fertilizers.”
All of the menu items will be made in-house, including locally smoked turkey breast and chicken from Buttonwood Farms, local Miller ham and SLU Salus Center’s very own roasted top round. There will also be a veggie option available, as well as tuna salad. The lunches will come with the option of one side, a cookie and a drink. Sides include: Billy Goat Chips, fruit salad, applesauce, deviled egg potato salad or a Caprese Italian pasta salad.
Locally sourced, clean eating is not the only way in which the boxed lunch catering service will differ from many larger establishments in the catering world. Another unique aspect of the business is that the boxes used to deliver the lunches will be compostable.
“The compostable boxes will disintegrate into natural elements in our garden, which will not leave any toxicity in the soil, and it will turn the soil into a nutrient-rich material,” Steinbrueck said. “These boxes are biodegradable and the moisture, heat and microorganisms in the environment will aid in the process of breaking them down.
The catering program will start by only offering sandwiches and wraps; however, as it progresses, there are plans to add a variety of platters to the menu and keep the program growing. In the future, the catering service would like to add salads; veggie, meat and cheese platters; and flavored hummus and pita bread. Caterings involving hot foods will still be offered through Fresh Gatherings, but not through the boxed lunch catering service.
Groups interested in using the Salus Center boxed lunch catering service can place orders at firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders must be a minimum of 10 lunches and can be picked up in the loading dock area of the Salus Center on SLU’s South Campus. The cost of the service is $13 per boxed lunch, which will include a sandwich with a house-made pickle, one side, a cookie and a drink.
— Photos by Corey Maurer