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HCC to Close for Thanksgiving Holiday

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, no classes will be held on Heartland Community College campuses from Wednesday, November 26 through Saturday, November November 29.

College administrative offices will remain open on Wednesday, November 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Offices will reopen for business and classes will resume on Monday, December 1.

Heartland wishes its students, faculty, staff and the community a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Local food makes its way to HCC dining services


Heartland is bringing more locally sourced food to campus thanks to its head chef, Scott Rowan.

Back to the basics

In an age where people want to know where their food is coming from, Rowan’s efforts are timely and relevant. He has been putting more local food in HCC’s cafeteria and in catering orders since he started at Heartland three years ago.

Ropp cheese, The Cookie Dough Café and a variety of local and regional farms have had products represented in Heartland’s food service.

Rowan’s goal is to get back to the basics of eating. “I’m bridging the gap for how foods were bought 30 to 40 years ago,” he explained. “I think we would eat better if we knew where our food was coming from.”

Rowan is not alone in his thinking and noted that farm to table, a movement that encourages producing food locally, is getting larger on a national level.

Fighting cost

Looking to the future, Rowan wants to incorporate even more local food products on campus. The hard part is cost.

 “When you buy local, you typically get smaller batches of food which means it costs more,” he said.

Cost is a major factor when your primary customers are 18 and 19 year olds, but so is the product itself.

“It can be hard to sell,” Rowan explained. “They are mainly interested in the basic cafeteria foods such as burgers, fries and grilled cheese.”

Sometimes, getting people interested in local food requires a little bit of creativity. From time to time, Rowan hands out samples of various products to let people get a taste. In addition, locally grown vegetables are often tossed on top of sandwiches and salads.

Rowan will also use locally sourced meat for various entrees. According to him, you can definitely tell the difference in taste, which makes the cost worth it.

Forming partnerships

Finding food that is locally sourced can also be a challenge. That’s where US Foods, Heartland’s primary food distributor, steps in.

Recently, US Foods has added local farmers to their distribution list, which makes it a lot easier for chefs like Rowan to buy local food direct.

Overall, Rowan’s work has been well received at Heartland, especially among staff who often orders catering with local food for various campus events.

Rowan’s work also extends to the community. He is involved with Edible Economy, a local group of chefs, farmers and other entities who are trying to establish a local foods hub. Their goal is to figure out how to make it easier for the food industry to source local foods.

Although it requires a lot of legwork, Rowan would like to see this trend continue to grow and teach others how to incorporate localized food into their own cooking.

 “I teach a lot of cooking classes for community education at Heartland. I hope to be able use local food as a component for my classes.”

Sign Up for HCC Emergency Text Alerts

Heartland Community College has a voluntary text messaging service that will be used to deliver information about on-campus emergencies. HCC will only send text alerts when there is a serious safety concern affecting campus -- including any campus closures due to severe weather.

Students, faculty and staff may text the message hccalerts to the number 292929 to enroll in the emergency text message service. A confirmation text will be sent to your mobile device indicating that the emergency notification service has been activated. HCC does not charge a fee for this service. Review your particular mobile device's texting or data plan for service details specific to your account. HCC will not share your phone number or mobile information with any other organizations.

For additional information about Heartland's commitment to student, faculty, staff and community safety, please watch Heartland's Safety Video.