Glendale Community College held on to its trays and prepares food in its facilities.
“For the amount of trays we use here, I don’t think it really affects our bottom-line expenses that heavily,” said Nancy Jordan, food services director at Glendale Community College.
A cheeseburger is $3.10, a muffin $1.95, a steak sandwich $4.95 and a fish sandwich $3.75. There are breakfast items and a fully loaded salad bar with cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts and sliced red and green pepper.
“The prices are really cheap, especially compared to anything else around here,” said Phil Stefun, a student majoring in information systems. “It’s like fast food, but tastes more home cooked and less processed.”
Food-services staff has avoided raising prices, Jordan said. A few years ago, food services was subsidized about $150,000 by the college.
“Each year we’ve been able to keep whittling that down,” Jordan said.
California lawmakers slashed funding for community colleges by 9% for 2009-10, and the federal government struck $900,000 that was to go to college support services, trustee Tony Tartaglia said. Across departments, college trustees said they are looking to match expenses with revenues.
“The cafeteria is looked at like all the departments and are doing everything they can to reduce costs over and above what they’re taking in in revenue,” trustee Ann Ransford said. “I think we need to work toward making it so we bring in enough revenue to pay for the service so it isn’t a drain on the college budget.”
Even so, Jordan said she was hard-pressed to recall a college food service operation that produced a profit.