Special Reports

SUNY Community College Replaces Cafeteria Workers With Vending Machines [Video\]


State University of New York's Orange County Community College in Middletown will be replacing its cafeteria workers with vending machines. This was said to be done as part of efforts to prevent more losses for its cafeteria business.

The workers will be laid off at the end of the spring semester. They will be replaced by food-dispensing machines.

In an email to students, Vinnie Cazzetta, executive director of the nonprofit Orange County Community College Association, said that the change comes after the school's food-service operations showed a deficit of over $150,000 last year. This is a continuation of a trend of significant operations losses that has plagued the college for years.

The association runs the cafeterias, the Times Herald-Record reported. Cazzetta admitted that, as part of the plan, nine full-time workers and three part-timers will be laid off.

An external audit was conducted back in December. It found that the cafeteria was facing larger financial problems.

Cazzetta added that they may be out of business within a year or so if they do not push through with the replacement. They would not have been able to make payroll.

The College Association is a nonprofit organization that provides supplementary services to SUNY Orange. It has been running since the late 1950s and runs the campus book store and food services. The association also manages real estate for future campus development.

The changes will take effect in June. The college has four food centers in the Middletown campus' Shepard Student Center, the Rowley Center, a café in its bio-tech building as well as in Kaplan Hall in Newburgh.

Staff in all four food centers will be laid off. According to the Associated Press, workers cried after hearing about the layoffs. Students also noted that they will miss the staff members and the fresh food.

Food ATMs are believed to be the future of fast-food. Last year, Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio also introduced a pizza ATM. It was invented by French company Paline.

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