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Meal plan prices continue to rise

May 7, 2010

The price of the 14 weekly meal plan will be increased to $1065.00 in September 2010. In fall 2008, students were asked to pay $1011.00, and this year the cost was $1046.00 for the standard meal plan.

This increased price represents a 5.3 percent increase since 2008, according to data received from Deb Wros, a University services associate.

Increasing meal plan options have students questioning the value of their meal plan, and wondering why the costs are continuing to rise every year.

“I really do think the meals cost a lot. I know they cost so much because you can eat as much food as you want but I don’t eat any more or less on a given day so I feel like I am paying for the 280-pound linebackers’ thirds and fourths… I don’t like paying seven bucks at dinner for my two grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup,” sophomore Jordan Cook said.

As of March 4, 2010, there are currently 2,747 students on one of the four meal plans offered by the University.

Since Sodexo contracted with the University in May 2008, the price of the 14 weekly meal plan has increased $71, approximately 68 cents every day, Jerry Waller, director of Dining Services, said.

When asked in an online interview if any changes have been made in dining services to better suit student needs, Waller said: “The Dining Services Advisory Committee (DSAC student committee) and myself work with Sodexo weekly to evaluate what is working and not. Changes are being implemented on a regular basis.”

“In all honesty, I’m not sure what the value of my meal plan is—my parents cover my meal plan costs and I don’t really pay attention to the amount they pay,” sophomore Jennifer Lambert said in an e-mail interview. “I do know that it is a lot, and I often feel really guilty when I walk into Riverside and suddenly lose my appetite. My parents are paying for me to eat 19 meals every week through Sodexo, but I rarely eat more than eight or nine. I need protein and whole grains, and it’s hard to get that from the limited options that are offered to me without eating the same thing meal after meal, day in and day out.”

Waller and DSAC will be reviewing comments and surveys this summer to determine any additional adjustments for the fall. You can contact DSAC by e-mail at diningservices@uwrf.edu or Jerry Waller at jerry.j.waller@uwrf.edu.