Dining Services provides food during Huskython

Local restaurants also often donate food like pizzas or bagels and Dining Services manages these donations and makes sure they are kept properly. (Olivia Stenger/The Daily Campus)

University of Connecticut Dining Services is preparing to provide culinary services for the annual Huskython dance marathon fundraiser this Saturday.

Huskython is an 18-hour dance marathon to raise money for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Last year the event raised over $800,000.

Dining Services coordinates all meals and snacks during the event, Dining Service’s coordinator for the event, Tracey Roy, said.

Roy has been involved with Dining Service’s participation in Huskython since it began in 2000 and has been their coordinator for the past eight years, she said.

“It’s something you feel good about helping with,” Roy said.

Each year, about 20 managers from Dining Services volunteer to work the culinary operations of the event and some even bring their teenage children to help, Roy said.

“I’m just so proud (that) so much of the management staff from Dining (Services) volunteers their time on a Saturday night away from their families to come and support this event and work it with me and help make it a great event for everybody,” Roy said.

Roy said people have expressed their gratitude for the service to the workers in past years.

“The families [of the children in the medical center] come up to us and also the students, and they thank us profusely for providing fuel and meals for them to keep them going throughout the night,” she said.

Dining Services provides a pasta dinner at 7 p.m. and a deli bar at 10 p.m. in addition to snacks throughout the event, Roy said. The next morning, the Student Union Market provides breakfast and coffee.

Roy said Dining Services used to do mac and cheese for dinner but decided to change to pasta to accommodate vegans. They also have gluten free options, which is the most common request Dining Services receives for the event. There has also been a request for a kosher meal this year, so Dining Services has worked out options for these students.

Roy said Dining Services also receives a list of participating students’ allergies before the event so they can avoid or properly mark foods containing allergens.

“Because we are who we are, we do have the recipes, so we know if it had any allergens,” she said.

Roy said Cisco Connecticut, Sardilli Produce and Coca Cola donate to help offset costs for the event. While Dining Services has worked with Cisco and Coca Cola for years, Sardilli has only begun donating more recently, Roy said.

“They’re…great companies that have donated to us every year,” Roy said.

Local restaurants also often donate food like pizzas or bagels and Dining Services manages these donations and makes sure they are kept properly.

“I’m really proud to be involved in this and I’m really proud of my staff for donating their time every year,” Roy said.

Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.