More meal plan options for students

The Village Market (VM) is adding more meal plan options for students. Some of the new options include produce items such as vegetable and dip packs and bulk items such as nuts and dried fruit. Meal plan items can be recognized by a green dot or bar on the price tags. Prices vary by container size and market value.

Although these food items can be purchased through meal plan, student discounts are not applied to certain VM products. According to Retail and Auxiliary Operations Associate Vice President Russell Orrison, student discounts are only applied to items bought at entities that fall under the Food Services Department such as the cafeteria, the Kayak, KR’s Place and the Deli, which is housed inside the VM.

Because the VM store is not managed by Food Services, student discounts are not applied to non-deli products.

“The reason for that is the $450 fee that students are assessed goes entirely to food services,” Orrison said. “Village Market doesn’t get a piece of that. So, because of that, they can’t discount their product because they don’t have an offset.”

The Village Market made this change in reaction to the student voice.

 “The big reason why we’re doing that is just to provide greater value to the students,” Orrison said. “We have been hearing some students say that they have difficulty spending down their entire meal plan every year. So, administration has listened and heard that. What we’re attempting to do is expand the product offering within the Village Market to better help them spend down their meal plan dollars.”

Students have expressed different opinions over the new meal plan additions.

“I think that this new selection of options may prove to be useful to students who struggle to utilize all of their meal plan. But personally, I am not one of those students,” junior biology major Maddie Tsuchiya said. “Therefore, it doesn’t really make a difference to me whether I buy these items on student charge, meal plan, cash, or credit card. While I would have appreciated the new additions more if it had included a discount, it is always nice to have more rather than fewer options when it comes to meal plan.”

According to Assistant Store Manager Dee Franks, the VM is always looking to add more meal plan products.

“We’re constantly looking to see how we can better serve our students so that they’re happy with what they’re eating,” Franks said. “We appreciate the students.”