top of page

Good eats

Ellie Yang ’27

Apr 5, 2024

At Mercersburg Academy, Ford Hall serves as a space where community members convene to enjoy meals and forge connections. Over the years, our dining hall has continuously evolved to meet the needs of its diverse community. With a dedicated team of chefs and staff, there is a focus on further improving the dining hall and its operations.

Recently, the dining hall introduced the “Meri-Mercer Diner” concept, which runs on Friday and Saturday nights. “We listened to what the students were saying. They wanted something more fun, more entertaining, and less fancy,” said Erin Guy, account manager of Meriwether Godsey. Gaining positive feedback from the community, the Meri-Mercer Diner looks to be a versatile, energetic, and upbeat concept for students and faculty as well as the dining hall staff.

The dining hall staff, who work from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm, are cross-trained to ensure smooth operation during busy periods. Guy said, “13 hours we are cooking and prepping or whatever we need to do to make sure we have the food out for you guys.” 

In addition to operating the dining hall in a more efficient way, the staff also serve healthy food options and offer more options for all dietary needs. “A lot of the food is cooked completely fresh. All the soups are homemade, even the tomato soup, and we try to keep a vegan or plant-based option,” said sous chef Flo Runyon, who has been part of the community for 21 years. Giles Wickham, Director of Dining Services, added, “We try to make sure there are [a variety of] offerings every day.”

With double-sided hot lines, a newly added oatmeal bar, and an adjusted salad bar, dining hall changes are crafted with the community in mind. Front of house staff Heather Faust said, “The new setups they have are more organized, helpful, and convenient for the community to use.” Runyon praised the variety of the salad bar and ensured the inclusion of all dietary needs with a vegan and gluten-free pasta line. With additional support towards a healthier community, Kathy Johnson, back of the house staff for 22 years, said, “We prioritize good food and healthy food so nobody gets sick from eating something they shouldn’t have.”

Beyond their roles, each dining hall staff member finds joy in serving the Mercersburg community. “My favorite part is when I can come out in the dining hall and I see everyone enjoying what we’re creating,” Wickham said. Faust agreed, “Serving the students and seeing their happy smiling faces, that’s my favorite part of this job. Seeing their smiling faces makes me smile.” Johnson said, “When I have a bad day, only one person has to lean down and say thank you and I feel like, ‘Oh my god I’m a dishwasher and I’m appreciated too!’” 

The dining hall is not just about the food. Behind the scenes is a crew of amazing staff who prioritize the community’s needs and happiness, making the dining hall an integral part of the Mercersburg experience.

bottom of page