- The Washington Times - Monday, February 12, 2018

Aramark food service has apologized after a Loyola University Chicago dining hall offered a Black History Month menu featuring stereotypical African-American cuisine such as fried chicken and Kool-Aid.

Photos circulated on social media showing a sign posted last week in the Damen Dining Hall at the Rogers Park campus encouraging students to “try our African American cuisine popular in the African American community,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The menu included fried chicken, maple mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, “black eye peas salad” and grape Kool-Aid, The Loyola Phoenix, the school’s student-run newspaper, reported Friday.

In a statement Friday, the school said Aramark had taken responsibility for the “insensitive and inappropriate” menu items and apologized for any offense it caused.

“Recently, our food service vendor Aramark offered a menu in Damen Dining meant to celebrate Black History Month, but which was also seen as promoting stereotypes of the African American community,” the statement said. “This was the misjudgment of one Aramark employee and the issue is being addressed. Loyola has the utmost commitment to diversity and inclusion. The University is taking steps with Aramark to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Dine Loyola, the dining vendor, also issued an apology Friday.

“One of our core values is integrity and respect always. The attempt to recognize and celebrate Black History Month at Damen Dining Hall was not an official part of our food service promotional activities. We apologize,” the statement said. “Aramark takes diversity and inclusion very seriously. This is an isolated incident and we can assure you that it will not happen again.”

Dine Loyola said it would proceed by retraining its staff “on Aramark approved promotional activities.”

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