Where Are My Lemons?

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Where Are My Lemons?

Sarah Manderbach ’22, Staff Writer

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Lemons have been notably absent from Dickinson’s campus this fall as the college’s main produce provider has suffered a bad crop due to hot weather.

J. Ambrogi Foods, Dickinson’s supplier based out of Thorofare, N.J., posted a “Lemon Notice” on their website stating “The latest downturn has been caused by historically hot weather… impacting an already diminished crop.” 

“Supplies will start to be picking up within the coming weeks,” said Errol Huffman, Director of Dining Services. “Probably within a week or two, I’ll be looking at getting an additional case [of lemons]” more than the current order, he said.

Last year during a normal crop season Dickinson purchased 154 cases of lemons which added up to 25,410 lemons, said Huffman. J. Ambrogi Foods usually provides Dickinson’s lemons at $40-45 a case, but this year the price is up to $90 a case, he said.

Huffman is waiting until prices drop and the fruit’s quality rises again. “It’s a problem to pay twice the price for a lemon. It’s worse if you’re paying twice the price for one-third the quality or size,” he said.

J. Ambrogi Foods, Dickinson’s primary produce provider, submitted a recall on all of their lemon products in July. The company stated on their website that their suppliers have invoked the “Act of God clause” on lemons, which means they cannot provide due to events outside of human control. 

J. Ambrogi Foods added hot weather in the growing regions have “impacted an already diminishing crop.” As stated on their website, buyer should expect “shortages and elevated prices on what is available.” 

Huffman said the lemons Dining Services currently has will be going towards small ingredient pieces and catering events.

Lemons are used in several dishes served at the cafeteria, said Huffman, like hummus, fish entrees and salad items. Lemons are also usually offered for juicing services and as wedges for tea, he said.

Huffman said he has received plenty of reactions through napkin notes posted in the dining hall. “Bring back the lemons!” they say.

Jeanne Killinger, a supervisor at the Quarry, said she understands why lemons are not available right now, but still feels bad for the customers. “I know that they like their lemons in their hot tea and diet soda,” Killinger says. “Some are very understanding when we explain why we don’t have them, but then you have the occasional guest that can’t believe that we do not have lemons.”

Huffman said most dining locations have signs somewhere in the area educating people on the lemon dilemma. 

Killinger hopes Dickinsonians will soon start to see lemons in all campus dining locations.

Attempts to reach J. Ambrogi Foods marketing department were unsuccessful before print time.