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Penn Dining’s PennCraves Community campaign includes working with Penn Athletics to encourage other groups on campus to work with Dining as well. | DP File Photo

Penn’s 1,000 varsity athletes need to eat, too — Penn Dining is working with Penn Athletics to strengthen cross-departmental ties and increase school spirit.

Working with Athletics has been one facet of Dining’s PennCraves community campaign to encourage other groups on campus to work with them to bring more people into dining halls.

“Dining’s effort dovetailed nicely with Penn Athletics’ goal to strengthen ties with other organizations across campus,” Director of Business Services Pam Lampitt said.

Earlier this semester, Dining hosted two “coach talks” with new Penn football coach Ray Priore in 1920 Commons and Hill College House, where diners met Priore and were introduced to the world of Penn Athletics.

To generate excitement for the first football game of the 2015 season, a pep rally was held in Hill on Oct. 2, complete with football-themed cupcakes, a prize wheel and Penn cheerleaders.

Dining also supported the opening of the football season on Twitter, and dining halls have featured flyers advertising upcoming games.

But Dining has always been a part of the varsity athletic experience at Penn.

“Having a dining plan is conducive to the student-athlete lifestyle,” 2015 Wharton graduate and former quarterback Michael Casias said on the Penn Dining website. Casias had a dining plan for four years. “For my sport I had to make sure I maintained weight during the season and the dining hall was the only cost effective way at supplying a large amount of healthy options.”

As part of Penn Athletics’ Sports Performance program, there is a full-time nutritionist on staff to work with student-athletes on their diets, Director of Athletic Communications Mike Mahoney said.

Dining also worked with the Penn Environmental Group at the beginning of the semester to give out reusable water bottles and with TableTalk Penn to promote conversation in dining facilities.

“We’re more than just food — we’re here to build community,” Lampitt said.

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