How Does Sharples Reuse Leftovers?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

After Pasta bar on Sundays and Wednesdays, Swatties observe that baked pasta is a rather common dish in the subsequent lunches and dinners that follow. This phenomenon begs the question: how often are food dishes reused at Sharples?

The Gazette sat down with Linda McDougall, Director of Swarthmore’s Dining Services to answer our inquiries. According to McDougall, when there are leftovers, they are often reheated and served as they were originally, like chicken with feta on Monday night. However, Sharples’ cooks occasionally use their creativity to create something completely different from what was previously served. These examples include from baked chicken to bbq chickes, rice to fried rice, blintzs to a dessert with eggs and fruit topping, meatloaf added into beef chili, and hot dogs into beanies and weenies. When leftovers are reused, they are only used once before it is either discarded or given to City Teams, a non-profit organization that serves the poor and homeless in Philadelphia.

On the other hand, Sharples does a very detailed job on calculating student demand of foods and the appropriate supply of such dishes. She explains, “We have many years of history and experience so Janet Kassab, our production manager and the cooks are usually very close at forecasting how much of a product needs to be prepped and cooked.” The only challenge is when they serve new dishes— but the majority of the time, Kassab and the head cook’s expectations are rather accurate.

And so the mystery of Sharples leftovers is solved! Want the Gazette to solve other mysteries? E-mail us at!

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