Student petition calls for healthier options in C-stores

Julia Doran, Reporter

A student petition is calling for a greater variety of healthy and cheap options in C-stores.

The petition, created by McCormick freshman Radek Chlebicki, was posted last week on and has gained more than 150 supporter signatures, with a goal of 200.

Chlebicki said C-stores should offer healthier, fresher options such as a better variety of fruits, such as avocados and grapefruit, more vegetables, nuts, dairy products and freshly prepared snacks. He said students should have the same options that are available in a regular grocery store, like mixed lettuce to make salads or roasted meats for sandwiches.

“It’s always better to have the student be able to buy the ingredients,” he said.

Morgan McFall-Johnsen, a member of Real Food at NU a student group that aims to build a sustainable food system at Northwestern said the petition addresses food issues she considers important.  

“I saw (the petition) and I thought about the food I see in Lisa’s and the other C-stores and I realized that I’m not happy with the options that we have on campus,” the Medill freshman said. “I would like to have better, healthier, more conscious options.”

McFall-Johnsen said she chooses to buy her snacks with equivalency meals only because she feels she should use the entirety of her meal plan to avoid spending extra money off campus.

“If I were going out and grocery shopping with my own money, I would be buying completely different things than I have to buy at the C-store,” she said.

Rachel Tilghman, director of communications and engagement for Sodexo, said several vendors offer Northwestern Dining recommendations based on trends they observe at other college campuses. They then test those products to see what Northwestern students purchase to tailor options to student preferences.

Tilghman said in order to satisfy a wide range of dietary preferences, the C-stores supply a variety of options, including items like chips and ice cream among healthier options like carrot slices, celery sticks, hummus and pita, yogurt parfaits and several kinds of salads.

Weinberg sophomore Avi Vaid, who uses the C-stores weekly, said he would like to see a wider variety of food options including dried fruits, but that the stock doesn’t fail entirely in this regard.

“There are definitely some healthy options available, but just not a whole bunch,” he said.

Tilghman said students are always encouraged to voice their opinions so they can find ways to better meet their needs, and that the Food Advisory Board for students helps serve this purpose as well.

“Especially for C-stores, this is one of the first times we’re getting really specific feedback, so it’s exciting, because we can always improve,” she said. “We do have healthy options, but we’re always open to adding more and we love the feedback from students.”

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