PRCC offers new food service look, menus

POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College students discovered a lot of new looks and food options Tuesday when the remodeled Olivia Bender Cafeteria serving line opened.

Valley Services, which operates PRCC food services, spent $600,000 to rip out the old serving lines and install new stations that offer some old favorites along with new food choices.

“This is a new system for the company,” said Leah Woodward, PRCC food services manager. “We’re the guinea pig. I’m trying to figure out what the kids like, what we’re going to change.”

The new area opened Tuesday to generally positive reviews from returning sophomores.

“The food’s a lot better,” said Hunter King of Carriere.

Lucas Williams of Picayue praised the look but complained that students milling around made it seem crowded.

Woodward acknowledged that everybody has to get used to the new routine - no trays, several stations for picking up food rather than one long line, drink dispensers away from the food lines.

“Once it gets in order, I think it will be good,” said Ashlyn Smith of Picayune.

The revamped cafeteria offers nine stations:

  • Rotisserie - slow roasted chicken and other meats along with traditional side dishes.

  • Pizza and Italian - flatbreads, calzones and pizzas.

  • Current trends - vegetarian, Vietnamese, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, barbeque.

  • Café Classics - traditional southern food.

  • Deli Depot - sandwiches and wraps, house-made pickles and chips, side salads.

  • Salad bar - traditional along with seasonal local ingredients.

  • Soup, baked potato and pasta bar.

  • Sweet Sensations - hot desserts, ice cream and toppings, “Itty Bitty” desserts.

  • Breakfast - waffle bar and cereal available at all meals.

Digital signs display the various menus.

“Most of it changes from day to day,” Woodward said. The menu for the evening meal isn’t as elaborate, she said.

Valley designed the layout specifically for PRCC, said Todd Hickman, district manager.

“That’s completely unique,” he said. “We have nine of the community colleges in the state. That is by far the best serving area of all the community colleges.”

As with any project, a few kinks remained on opening day - the big rotisserie and ice cream dispensers weren’t operational yet.

The cafeteria is open 7 to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 to 6 p.m. for supper. Visitor prices are $4.85 plus tax for breakfast and $6.50 plus tax for other meals. All prices are all-you-can eat.

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