A large selection of food snacks and beverages are available on campus once again.
Market Twenty 4 Seven is the micro market area in the Student Services and Administration Building outside of the cafeteria where staff and students can browse and purchase various food and refreshments.
Originally opened at the start of the Winter 2020 Semester, the Market Twenty 4 Seven service was shuttered when the MCCC campus closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The market officially reopened on Oct. 12.
Kelly Heinzerling, director of Auxiliary Services and Purchasing, said she worked with the market’s supplier, Continental Vending Inc., to determine when products would be able to be distributed again.
The Market was guaranteed to reopen eventually, yet the idea of bringing it back at as early as this month wasn’t considered until the need for it was realized, Heinzerling said.
The main deciding factor to reopen was the number of Middle College students who would have classes on campus this semester because they make up the majority of shoppers.
Heinzerling said once it was understood how many classes and students would be on campus and how great the need would be the decision was made.
“We determined the numbers were good enough that it made sense to bring it back,” Heinzerling said.
Due to the limited number of customers compared to its first opening in January, products have been limited, she said.
One of the five coolers is not being used and the snack wall has less amount of product that was originally needed when the market first opened.
“The products we have now were based on what students were purchasing at that time of it first being open and incorporated also items with longer shelf life because of the limited students,” Heinzerling said.
Due to the short period of time when the market was first opened, Heinzerling said estimations are still being made on what products need to be restocked and to what extent.
“I’m super excited to see it open,” Heinzerling said. “It was sad seeing it dark.”
She said students were visibly interested in the Market when preparations were first being made.
“Even when they (Continental) were in on Friday restocking for the Monday reopening, students were already coming in the market just excited about having that space back open and available,” Heinzerling said.
Phil Borawski, a full-time information systems support technician for the college, said he would have to bring a lunch and water bottle from home in the summer due to most vending options being closed. Borawski said he now takes advantage of the market being open.
“It’s got a pretty decent selection now, I mean, just for a quick snack,” Borawski said. “It would be nice if they had, you know, more meal options as opposed to just junk food.”
Various restrictions are present in the area to encourage social distancing and prevent contamination.
There is an entrance-only sign from the hall doorway and an exit-only sign next to the doors leading into the cafeteria.
One scanning and purchasing kiosk is closed and some microwaves have been turned around in an effort to avoid shoppers standing too close to each other, Heinzerling said.
The fingerprint scanners at the kiosk have also been covered up.
“We did that even before closing because it’s one place where very specific contamination can happen,” Heinzerling said.
Hand sanitizer and wipes are available in three different areas to help wipe down the screens and handles.
Outside the market, there are a number of vending machines throughout campus that are stocked for the first time since they were empty at the beginning of the college being shut down.
These vending machines can be found in the Health Education Building, Career Technology Center Labs, Founders Hall, A Building and La-Z-Boy Center.
The Life Science Building will not, however, have stocked vending machines due to the number of construction projects going on in there, Heinzerling said.
There are vending machines that house Pepsi products as well as various snacks provided by Continental.
“We ensure that for the buildings that were really going to be heavily used that we do have Pepsi and snacks in those locations,” Heinzerling said.
Both snack and drink machines have data collected from purchases to ensure products remain stocked from each delivery, she said.
“I think that given our current circumstances, anything we can do that offers a positive statement to students and staff and faculty is just what we should be doing,” Heinzerling said.