AggieEats Puts Bonus Food to Use

Quick Summary

  • Sandwich fixings had been ordered for a conference
  • Food goes to Aggie Compass after event was canceled
  • DEI, Student Affairs, CoHo join in for sake of students

A large catering order including lunch meat and rolls for a canceled event has not been wasted, thanks to fast action across divisions for the sake of students.

Much of the food will be served from the “pay-what-you-want” AggieEats food truck next Tuesday and Thursday, June 13 and 15, during finals week.

"Ultimate Philly" sandwich: lunch meat, onions, peppers, nacho cheese, on French roll
Bonus food goes into the Ultimate Philly, to be served from the AggieEats truck next week.

The catering order — more than 150 pounds of turkey, ham and roast beef, and nearly 2,000 French rolls, plus lettuce and chips — had been intended for the Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference, May 6, which was canceled amid safety concerns around a series of stabbings in Davis.

What happened next is a perfect example of interdepartmental cooperation, starting with Lina Mendez’s call to the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, to offer the food to students in need. Mendez is the director of Hispanic-Serving Institution Initiatives in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, among the sponsors of the Cesar Chavez conference.

New kind of food truck

Leslie Kemp, executive director of the Basic Needs Initiative and Aggie Compass, quickly got in touch with the ASUCD Coffee House, which accepted delivery of the food directly from the vendor and provided freezer space for the lunch meat and rolls. The CoHo used the lettuce immediately and the AggieEats food truck served the chips.

The food truck, run by a partnership of Aggie Compass, Student Housing and Dining Services, and the Division of Student Affairs, made its debut in mid-April. Believed to be the first of its kind at a U.S. university, the truck is part of UC Davis’ comprehensive efforts to address food insecurity among students by providing meals even to those who cannot pay — up to 500 meals a day.

As for the frozen lunch meat and rolls, Aggie Compass partnered with the UC Davis Commissary Kitchen to develop the following menu for two days of finals week, the last week of the academic quarter. 

  • Tuesday will bring traditional deli sandwiches and 1-pound containers of sliced turkey, ham and roast beef, for students to take home. Food truck location: UC Davis Health Stadium.
  • Thursday, the last day of the academic quarter, will bring the Ultimate Philly: turkey, ham and roast beef, with onions and peppers, and nacho cheese. Food truck location: The Green at West Village.

The food truck runs five days a week during the academic year, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or until the food runs out, at a variety of locations. Check the schedule here.

Kemp expressed her appreciation to the organizers of the Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference for not letting their catering order go to waste. The Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center is not able to recover leftovers from events at this time, she said, but, as with the donation of the Cesar Chavez conference food, it can accept fresh food delivered directly from vendors to campus kitchens.

Aggie Compass plans to partner with the Food Recovery Network and the ASUCD Pantry to develop an on-campus food recovery program next year, Kemp said.

For more information on the AggieEats food truck and other basic needs resources, contact Kemp by email: or

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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