News - August 22, 2017

AID meals: how important are they?

Madhura Rao

With students coming in from all over the world, there are bound to be differences over dietary preferences. Certain participants had strong opinions about the food served during the AID. Portion sizes, meal timings and special dietary needs are the issues that were discussed.

Portions at the cafetaria are too small, according to some students. Luckily, there are some snacks, like traditional Dutch 'poffertjes'. ©Sven Menschel

Too little, too soon
'We’ve been eating at the cafeteria every day at 17:30 and the portions are really small', says Sinan Serhadli, who wishes his group didn’t have to go back home later in the evening to have a second dinner. Similar comments came from other groups who felt that the food served at various student associations was better than the food served on campus. Some students even had issues with special dietary requirements, such as insufficient provision for halal or vegan food. A few groups pointed out that although the portions of rice, bread, and potatoes were enough, the meat, vegetables, and sauce were insufficient.

Food’s not important
For Tobia de Scisciolo, food isn’t a crucial part of the AID experience. In his opinion, one cannot expect fancy dinners when food is being made on such a large scale. His group just brings extra dips and cucumbers to spice up the meal. 'It’s very easy to complain but very difficult to cook for so many people', he feels.

Other participants share the same opinion. They simply have dinner elsewhere with their group or cook something together if they are not happy with what they’re being served. 'It’s more about being together and having fun than finding faults in the smaller details', says group 195 as they continue eating their brunch on the grass while enjoying the morning sunshine.

The AID board
The AID board responded to these remarks by saying that they’re working really hard to make sure everything happens as planned. After all, it is quite a bit of hard work to ensure that over 2900 people are properly fed.

'There are two rounds at every dinner and we need to make sure that there is enough food for both of them. Portioning can be a little tricky sometimes, but we’re doing our best', says Sanne Knoppers, the Secretary of the board.