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Halal food coming to all On the Go locations

By Chris Adams, September 4, 2014 —

After months of planning and consultation between students and administration, halal food vendors are coming to the University of Calgary.

As of Sept. 8, all On the Go locations on campus will sell pre-packaged halal food, while all food in the Energy Environmental Experiential Learning (EEEL) location will serve daily halal specials and other hot food.

Former Students’ Union faculty of arts representative Zainab Malik headed the push to bring more halal food to campus. She said she’s relieved that, after months of planning, more halal options will soon be available.

“Everyone’s pretty excited. [Muslim students are] like, ‘I can finally eat on campus. I’m not going to go hungry just eating salads.’ We all need our meat sometimes,” Malik said.

The discussion around halal picked up last year after Muslim students began lobbying to bring more of it to campus. Halal is a style of food preparation used by Muslims to ensure the food they eat has been prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

Malik conducted a survey last year to gauge what students wanted from a halal vendor. The majority of students desired western-style food to be served for a price of around $10.

On the Go’s new halal options reflect these results.

“They’re mostly going to do western food, but they’re still going to throw in a little bit of ethnic food. And then they’ll make sure that the flavour is right and the price is right as well,” Malik said. “If it’s a million bucks and there’s no flavour, there’s no point in having it.”

Chartwells — the U of C’s food supplier — partnered with food distributor Sysco to supply On the Go with halal food.

Muslim students were notified of the added halal options via emails sent from the Muslim Students’ Association and other Muslim clubs on campus.

Malik hopes her success will bring more religiously sanctioned food to the U of C and other campuses around the country.

“I just hope that it [takes off] throughout Canada and helps other universities get halal food. Maybe someone can get kosher food as well. That’s a necessity at the University of Calgary, too,” Malik said.


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