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Redifer Commons Dining To Close On Weekends Amid Staffing Shortages

Staffing shortages will force Redifer Commons dining to close on Saturdays and Sundays starting October 16, the university announced Wednesday.

The closures come as Penn State faces widespread employee vacancies. Last week, Jim Meinecke, Penn State’s associate director of residential dining, said the university is short about 35 full-time positions and 1,100 student positions in its dining halls.

“Like a lot of employers locally and around the country, we’re experiencing some staffing shortfalls. We’re making these temporary adjustments to our food service hours so we can continue providing the variety and high-quality foods that our customers have come to expect, while trying to minimize disruption to our customers,” said Jim Richard, director of residential dining. “We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we work through these minor issues.”

Residential dining shutdowns would close Redifer’s Southside Buffet, plus à la carte locations like Piatto Felice, Edge Coffee Bar, and Urban Garden. City Grill, arguably Redifer’s most popular location, is traditionally closed on weekends anyway.

However, In A Pickle, Redifer’s made-to-order deli and panini station, will reopen for the first time this fall on Monday, October 25. Louie’s Convenience Store will remain open on weekends from 9 a.m. to midnight, too.

“This change will allow us to provide an additional offering to our guests on weekdays,” said Amy Bressler, assistant director of South Food District.

The timeline for Redifer’s partial shutdown is unclear. For now, these changes are temporary, according to Penn State.

“We are looking at these changes as a temporary solution to help give our students the best experiences during these challenging times,” Dining said in a statement.

Additionally, North Food District will close its dining operations on Saturdays. Its grill station will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while its deli station will close temporarily.

East, West, and Pollock’s food districts will continue normal operations. Their full hours and menus are available online.

As always, Penn State is hiring student workers in its dining halls. Positions start at $12 an hour, provide $2 employee meals, and offer “flexible scheduling” to help accommodate class schedules.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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