Food Brings Us Together

Food Brings Us Together

We all know that people in financial aid love to eat. At least, that’s been true for the places where I have worked. When I worked at UNC we started with “office Tuesday treat day,” then moved on to potlucks. Once that got old, we decided to have food challenges within the office. We started with a “Dip-Off,” asking everyone to bring in a homemade dip. We asked our Bursar’s office to judge our creations and declare a winner. The winner would get bragging rights, their picture taken and a small trophy.

Eventually we moved on to Valentine’s Day box lunches. Each person decorated a box and filled it with a lunch of their choice, all anonymously of course. During lunch we drew numbers to determine the order in which everyone got to select a box lunch to eat. We called on our Bursar’s office once again to judge the best decorated box. The winner got their picture taken, bragging rights and a small trophy. We had so much fun that we did this on multiple holidays.

Now that I’m at Aims, we’ve taken this one step further. We decided to use food challenges as an ice breaker to meet colleagues from different departments. When our advising office moved down to our area we challenged them to a “Dip-Off”. It was office against office for the best dip and for some reason, our Bursar’s office was the judge yet again. I’m not sure why, but I guess they like to eat too. Everyone had a good time and we got to know people in the office that we may never have met otherwise.

The winner of the“Dip-Off” had to challenge another office to some sort of eating contest, and we decided to challenge our Cashier’s office next to a cookie challenge (yes, you guessed it: we won the Dip-Off). This time our college president got involved and served as our cookie challenge judge. We lost this one, so our Cashier’s office challenged our TRIO office to a salsa contest.

At this time we had a new president, so we weren’t sure if she would like to participate. When the TRIO office challenged us to a cupcake war, we asked our president to judge and she jumped at the chance. She even brought her husband to co-judge.

This is now an ongoing thing at our college and our president calls our director to ask when the next challenge will be. She doesn’t want to miss serving as our judge. Our latest challenge was a pie contest. We now have a “traveling trophy” that goes to the winning office until the next food challenge. This all just goes to show that something as easy as food can bring offices together. It can be used as a way to get to know your colleagues all over campus. Plus you get to eat awesome food.

Cupcake War Winner

P.S. Yes, I won the cupcake challenge with these cupcakes. The design was my daughter’s idea. No really, it was. I kind of lost my man card that day.

Chris Peterson
Assistant Director, Processing
Aims Community College
CAFAA Treasurer-Elect