SAGE, Mercersburg's dining-services provider, serves 21 meals each week for 700 students, faculty, and staff. For each and every one of those meals, students and parents might have some questions. What's for dinner? Does this meal contain gluten? How healthy is that lasagna? Director of Dining Services Jim Butler and his three managers—Amy Weber (assistant director), Jeff Gray (assistant director), and James Harris (executive chef)—have answers to these questions, and it all starts with the new SAGE mobile app.
"We are here to be a resource for parents and their children," says Butler. "There’s a manager on duty for almost every meal, and we are extremely available." The mobile app helps facilitate the conversation even more.
The SAGE mobile app is available for Android and iOS systems and allows users to do the following:
Check out the meals each day
Save favorite menu items
Track up to 12 allergens (plus sort by preferences such as vegetarian or vegan options)
View meals for events (such as meals for Family and Alumni Weekend)
Contact Butler and his team with questions
"If parents or students are uncertain about an ingredient, they can click on it in the app, see the nutritional information, and then send us a comment or question," says Butler.
The SAGE managers say they are already receiving great feedback from faculty and students right after each meal. "Having this type of immediate feedback helps us respond quickly to questions or concerns," says Weber.
For instance, students might see a red dot next to a meal item and think they should not eat that item. "Red actually means moderation, but you can still eat it," says Weber. SAGE uses something called the SAGE Spotlight Program to help students, faculty, and staff determine how to put together a healthy meal. Green dots mean you can eat a variety of that type of food, yellow dots encourage balance, and red indicates moderation.
At SAGE, all recipes start in the kitchens of the schools, and many recipes come straight from the students themselves. Butler has submitted more than 80 recipes to SAGE for consideration and dissemination to other SAGE schools. Some of these recipes come from international students who want to share their culture and cuisine with their fellow students.
To encourage more education about food and where it comes from, the SAGE team has a program called Educational Seasonings that introduces students to foods that might be unfamiliar to them. Some past program topics include international and historical cuisine, unusual or uncommon foods, etiquette and manners, seasonal produce, methods of preparation, and more. Parents and students can learn more about Educational Seasonings in the SAGE app.
The Mercersburg SAGE team is looking forward to the coming school year and encourages parents and their children to check out the app for Android or iOS, stay in contact with the team, and eat well. Meet the Mercersburg SAGE managers at this link, and learn more about SAGE Dining Services at this link.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173