HUDS To Trim Breakfasts

As part of this week’s budget cuts at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University Dining Services will eliminate most hot breakfast options in House dining halls beginning in the fall, FAS Dean Michael D. Smith announced Monday.

The cut comes in response to the College’s decision to lower the board rate students pay by 7.5 percent, as it seeks to devote more money to its “core mission”, according to HUDS spokeswoman Crista Martin.

The reductions in hot breakfast will save the College $900,000 a year, HUDS Executive Director Ted A. Mayer told students at a forum Monday night. Annenberg will still serve prepared breakfast to all students, and administrators emphasized that the cost savings will allow for a 40 percent increase in the budget for brain break.

Only 30 percent of students eat breakfast and many of those do not eat the prepared items, Mayer, meaning the effects of the breakfast changes should be minimal.

“You got it at Annenberg, and a transfer of funds to brain break; you’ve got protein, and weekends are the same,” Mayer said. “I’d think that’s adequate for you to maintain diet and strength.”

The improved brain break will include new items such as hummus and pita, cheese and crackers, and make-your-own cupcakes. Though some of those improvements have previously been seen in certain Houses, these changes will be implemented in all dining halls, according to Martin.

Adams House Food Literacy Program Representative Kelly A. Evans ’10 said that she is concerned about health implications that HUDS may not have taken into account.

“The same values of protein and carbohydrates will be available but not in sources that people enjoy,” Evans said. “If they’re trying to promote healthiest lifestyle and eating breakfast is a part of that, it may be that reducing options is harmful in general.”

A portion of the cost savings will come from cutbacks in staff, though Martin wrote in an e-mailed statement that HUDS will seek to keep “as many jobs as possible.”

Some varsity athletes who regularly eat breakfast after early morning practices are concerned they will be disproportionately affected by the elimination of hot foods.

As they ate omelettes in Eliot dining hall yesterday morning, rowers Emily B. Walker ’11 and Laurel J. Gabard-Durnam ’10 said they believe that limited breakfast options will almost certainly affect their performance on the water.

“If Harvard doesn’t win at Harvard-Yale next year, we’ll know why,” Walker said, referring to the annual regatta. Gabard-Durnam added, “Yale has breakfast.”

—Staff writer William N. White can be reached at wwhite@fas.harvard.edu.