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U Donates 780 Meals

University of Utah Executive Chef Peter Hodgson

Nov. 25, 2013 – University of Utah’s Dining Services will prepare nearly 800 donated meals that will be delivered to homebound Salt Lake valley residents on Thanksgiving Day.

Food donations were secured through the Salvation Army and the Utah Restaurant Association, and University Dining Services volunteered its kitchens, supplies, personnel and time to prepare the food and help deliver meals beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday. This is the first year University Dining Services has partnered in this annual effort.

“I grew up in a large family of 10 with a single mother, and our church always made sure my family was taken care of during the holidays,” said U Executive Chef Peter Hodgson, who coordinated the partnership. “Now it’s my turn to do the same for others.”

Hodgson is also a chef mentor in the ProStart program, which is a nationwide organization that provides hands-on foodservice experience for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the hospitality industry. Hodgson has been a mentor since 2002 and has helped the program grow from seven to 52 high schools across the state. More than 30 ProStart students will join Dining Services’ staff to prepare and deliver the Thanksgiving meals. The University of Utah currently mentors two students through ProStart.

The meals will include Norbest turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, fresh cranberry relish, sweet potatoes and cornbread stuffing made with a recipe from U Dining Services Director Reggie Conerly.

The U is midway through its annual food drive, which collected more than 402,000 pounds of food and more than $85,000 in monetary donations last year. Donations are accepted through Nov. 30. More information is available here.

“We’re glad to be able to contribute to the university’s effort to provide food to members of our community who might not have had a Thanksgiving meal otherwise,” Hodgson said.

About University Dining Services:

University Dining Services is operated by Chartwells, a division of Compass Group, the largest contract foodservice company in the world. Chartwells has operated foodservices at the U since 1998 and serves nearly 10,000 meals each day through its 14 on-campus dining locations. U Dining Services donates food to the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House year-round.