NBN sat down with food chairs Sydney Rozenfeld and Stephanie Craig to discuss how they keep the dancers fed.
NBN: What did you do to prepare for DM?
Craig: Starting out in the summer, we came up with full-on lists of all past donors. We made up an ideal menu for what we wanted to give all of our dancers during the 30 hours. In the fall, we got our committee and were able to give each of them a few places to solicit. They would call the places, email all these different restaurants to get the different snacks we needed.
Rozenfeld: We designed food fundraisers that are new to this year that we thought would be successful into bringing a lot of money, and we implemented them. … We’re making a huge effort to reduce waste, and by doing this we have a rotation group called Data and Media who are going to write down how much product we have left over. We have a concession stand now in the tent which houses previous snacks that have been given out during DM, so dancers can access this at any time in the tent, and that’s also a way to reduce waste. Additionally Steph and I have really wanted to make everything we do really transparent with our committee and show them what we expect of them from the get go. So we make very organized lists and explicitly say what we want from them. And now we’re here and it’s happening.
NBN: What are you doing during the 30 hours?
Craig: Basically, every block there are 2-3 snacks and/or a meal and a snack. So every hour, we are serving a snack. In the time periods between the snacks, we are prepping. That might be cutting up fruit for the dancers. That could be just unloading boxes and Nutri-Grain bars.
Rozenfeld: Also there’s deliveries happening this time, during lunches or other places that are delivering things. Additionally, we have these people we have to feed – all of the committee members – in addition to the dancers, so we can’t only place the food in the tent. We have to individually go into each room to make sure everyone’s being fed. We have to make sure that the tent has water. Getting rid of the trash if it’s too overflowing. Manning our concession stand. Taking pictures of all the same food and keeping data on what has been used versus not.
NBN: Is there a method to which food goes into which block?
Rozenfeld: We really try to place food in places that we think make sense. In the beginning of DM, we try to make the first snack a pump-up snack that gets people hyped and that [will] not be super-healthy. Then we get into more healthy kind of vibe and continue through the 30 hours. At [midnight], we always serve pizza because that’s the high point and we want to give them something that they want. A lot of thought goes into what goes out during every block. Whether it’s food versus a drink, versus something else.
Craig: We’ve got a lot of requests from surveys from past years of moving to healthier snacks. So we mixed in dried fruit, regular fruit and vegetables as a couple of the snacks, just to make sure dancers are getting all of the nutrients as well as getting the fun snacks like cupcakes and Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins.
NBN: What’s your favorite food that you’re going to serve this year?
Rozenfeld: My favorite food is either the second snack we served, which is from Crispy Greens – dried fruit company which I saw my friend eating one day and was like, “I want that at DM,” and tried my hardest to convince that company to donate. And our Block 10 snack, which is a secret. It’s the last thing that they eat, so it has to be fun.