Dance Marathon: the music, the lights, the moves…and the food. Thirty hours of dancing multiplied by more than one thousand students equals a huge responsibility for Katy Vogt and Lauren Mindel, the two food chairs of Dance Marathon 2013.
Vogt, Mindel and the food committee, comprised of 55 students, have the task of making sure every dancer and staff gets enough food throughout DM. Their job includes planning meals and snacks, as well as soliciting donations for the food they will serve.
“We have no budget for food,” Vogt says. “Each year, our committee reaches out to local and national businesses for food, and we’re lucky because the Evanston community has always supported us and made our job that much easier.”
The food committee works closely with Sodexo and Whole Foods, both of whom are major suppliers for the event. Dance Marathon and its food suppliers have a close relationship that makes the real challenge for Mindel and Vogt the logistics of picking up the food and organizing the amount given out to whom, not where they get it from.
This isn’t the first time Vogt has worked to coordinate food for DM. The Weinberg junior has been involved in the food committee since her freshman year. “I wasn’t sure if I could dance for 30 hours, but I still wanted to be involved,” she says. “I ended up on the food committee and stuck with it. Everybody eats, so someone’s gotta make sure it can happen.”
Mindel, a senior in SESP, had a different experience. She danced for her first two years and has also worked on the Special Events Committee. “I wanted a different experience with DM for my last year and wanted to see behind the scenes,” she says. “I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”
As the food chairs, Vogt and Mindel can think of many foods they would love to serve to dancers. Vogt wishes she could serve her mom’s homemade spaghetti to everyone, and while that’s impossible, Mindel’s dream DM snack will be going out to the dancers this year. “We have 1400 cups of Andy’s being delivered to dancers and committee members,” she says.
In addition to frozen custard, dancers will also enjoy old standbys like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruit, ants on a log and popsicles, all of which the food committee collects, prepares and serves. Last year was the first time the committee has ever served pizza as a snack, and that went over so well that Vogt and Mindel plan to serve pizza from six to seven local vendors this year.
Besides food, Vogt and Mindel are also in charge of making DM green. This year, they are working with the Office of Sustainability to compost waste for the first time in the event’s history and to make recycling a priority. The food committee has also partnered with Campus Kitchens to donate leftover food instead of letting it go to waste.
While coordinating all the food for DM can often be a stressful job, Vogt says it is also quite rewarding. “Everyone in the food committee is proud to be feeding people who have done amazing things all year. To give back to the people who have been working for this all year and who really deserve it – that’s special.”