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Frequently Asked Questions About Meal Plans

Am I required to purchase a meal plan?

All resident students living in undergraduate and graduate housing are required to have a meal plan. Students living in on-campus apartments are not required to have a meal plan. There are three available resident meal plans to choose.

What kind of meal plans are being offered?

Meal plan prices reflect updated food and utility costs.

$2,804.00 Ultimate Plan

  • Unlimited access during operating hours
  • 35 flex passes
  • 500 points

$2,676.00 Value Plan

  • Unlimited access during operating hours
  • 40 flex passes
  • 200 points

$2,538.00 Custom Plan

  • Unlimited access during operating hours
  • 75 flex passes
  • No points are attached to this plan.

What is the best meal plan for me?

All three meal plans are very comparable in price and offer unlimited access to the dining units. The best meal plan for you really depends on your eating habits. If you are going to swipe in visiting guests for meals, you're going to want to have enough flex passes to allow entry. If you are the type of person who likes to eat on the run, you're going to want to make sure you have some points on your account.

What is a flex pass?

Flex passes come with each of the three resident meal plans and can be used in two ways: as a guest pass or to purchase a value meal. For example, if you are going to have friends or family visiting, they can be admitted into the dining units using your flex passes (one flex pass = one meal). Flex passes can also be used in the Grab 'n Go's to obtain a value meal. Flex passes cannot be used at Dining Services' retail operations (UC Café coffee shops, Student Union, convenience stores, etc.).

What are points and how are they used?

Points come with the Ultimate and Value Meal Plan options (spending power: one point = one dollar). Points may be used for purchases at our Retail Operations (UC Café coffee shops, Café Co-op, Union Street Market, The Blue Cow, and Chuck & Augie's Restaurant after 3:00pm.) They may not be used in the C-Stores located around campus). Points may be used to purchase guest meals in the dining units. You may also use them to purchase items from our bakery such as cookies, cakes and fruit baskets. If your friend is having a birthday, you can use your points to purchase a cake for them.

Where can I eat with my meal plan and how do I get in?

There are eight dining units located around campus to choose from: Whitney, Buckley, South, McMahon, Putnam, Northwest, North and Gelfenbien Commons. Dining unit descriptions can be found online. Meal hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner are posted outside each dining unit as well as the Dining Services website. You must present your UConn ID card to a validine operator at each location's entrance in order to eat. The operator will swipe your card through a machine to allow you access into the dining unit.

Can I change my meal plan?

Yes. You have the first three weeks of the semester to change to a meal plan that is better suited to your needs. Meal plans for the Fall 2014 semester can be downgraded until Friday, September 12th, 2014. Please Note: If you want to upgrade your meal plan, you may do so at any time throughout the semester. You can change your meal plan by visiting the Dining Services office in Bishop Center or by calling (860) 486-3128. Payment is required within 10 days to the Bursar's Office on the first floor of Wilbur Cross. Meal plan changes take effect immediately.

Can I use my points or flex passes at non-Dining Services locations?

No. Points and flex passes can only be used for food purchases at Dining Services' locations. It should be noted that the chain restaurants in the Student Union (Panda Express and Wendy's) are not operated by Dining Services and are, therefore, not part of the meal plan.

The meal plan I chose didn't come with points. What can I do?

If you choose a plan that does not include points, you may purchase a separate cash points account. Like points that come with a meal plan, these points can be used at all dining facilities and at retail operations. Unlike the Ultimate or Value Plan's points, however, these points do roll-over from semester to semester and can be refunded should you leave the University. There is no minimum required purchase for cash points. You may also elect to open a Husky Bucks Account by visiting the One Card Office.

How do points differ from Husky Bucks?

Points can only be used for food purchases at Dining Services locations. Husky Bucks, on the other hand, may be used to purchase food and other items at locations on and off campus. For more information on Husky Bucks please go to: http://www.onecard.uconn.edu

What if I run out of points or flex passes and there is still time left in the semester?

You can add points to your residential meal plan account. There is no minimum purchase for additional points. (1 point = 1 dollar). You can convert residential meal plan points to flex passes (one flex pass = 7 points). Points may be added to your account at any time by visiting the Dining Services office or by phone. You may want to discuss the benefits of choosing a community meal plan. You may pay by check or cash.

What happens if I have leftover points or flex passes on my resident meal plan at the end of the semester?

If you don't use them, unfortunately you lose them. This is true unless you make additions to your meal plan. If you purchase additional points during the semester and have any left over, they WILL automatically roll-over into the next semester. Purchases with meal plan points are limited at the end of each semester to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of retail items. Flex passes do NOT roll over.

What are value meals?

Value Meals are available at Grab & Go's around campus: South Grab & Go in South Dining unit, Off The Eaten Path in Gelfenbien Commons, Putnam Grab & Go in Putnam Refectory and at West Side Wraps in Northwest Dining. They consist of some combination of a sandwich, drink, fruit/salad, and a dessert. The selection of a value meals' ingredients are designed to utilize items that are prepared by Dining Services, while maintaining portability for students.

    VALUE MEAL QUESTIONS:

  • At Grab & Go's, why can't I get a bottled beverage and/or a bag of chips as part of my meal?
    The selection of value meals' ingredients are designed to utilize items that are prepared by Dining Services.
    This allows us to create a balanced selection at a reasonable price point.
  • Why can't I get 2 sandwiches as my value meal? I don't want the other items.
    Value meals are designed to meet a targeted price point. Variations in selections will impact our raw food cost target.
  • What if I don't want all the options included in my value meal? Do I get credit (of some form) back?
    No, value meals are packaged to provide an inexpensive menu that has value and is portable. If you want to select a part of a value meal this can be purchased à la carte through the use of points or Husky Bucks.

I am not living on campus, but can I still have a meal plan?

Yes. Dining Services offers a Community Meal Plan. This plan is purchased in blocks of 25 meals for $258.00. Community Meal Plans can also be used to admit guests. If there are meals left on your account at the end of the semester, they will carry over into the next semester. Meals can be refunded upon request when you leave the university. This is the preferred option of commuters, although an option to voluntarily purchase a resident meal plan is also available.

Also, new this semester, we now offer Husky Bucks combined with a valid Community Plan

Husky Bucks combined with a valid Community Meal Plan now offers a discount. When you have a valid Community Meal Plan (25 meals for $258.00) and pay for your food purchases with Husky Bucks, you will receive a 5% discount off each purchase. Please note that this discount is applied to the Union Street Market in the Student Union and any of our five coffee shops. Off-campus locations are not included in this offer. Husky Bucks can be purchased through the One Card Office or through Dining Services.

How can I find out what is on the menu?

You can find out what is on the menu in several ways. Our website is a good place to visit to check out the menu as well as http://www.uconn.edu/students.php. Also look for UCuisine, our semester menu booklet, available in your dining unit.

How do I find out the nutritional information for my meal items?

The Department of Dining Services analyzes and provides students and other customers with nutritional information about meals served in the dining units on a daily basis. This information can be found at: http://nutritionanalysis.dds.uconn.edu/location.asp. We also provide recipes upon request.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

The Department of Dining Services will work with students who have dietary restrictions to help meet their needs with the food products available to them. Please let the manager of your particular dining unit know of your restrictions. However, students who have long term dietary restrictions, or who feel they require meal plan exemptions, should contact Amy Dunham, Health Services' Nutritionist, at (860) 486-0771.

Why am I only allowed a beverage or pastry or fruit or ice cream treat as a take-out from the dining unit?

All residence dining units are all-you-care-to-eat facilities. Allowing the items listed above as take-out is a way to meet your need for an easy to carry snack and still control costs. Uncontrolled take-out would lead to a much more expensive meal plan as well as food safety issues. If you are taking out a beverage, it must be in an Eco-Husky mug or other similar-sized reusable container. "Go Green" by using recyclable mugs instead of paper.

Do I need my ID card to get into a dining unit?

Yes. All students are issued a University ID card at the One Card Office. This card is an identification card as well as a meal card, a debit card (Husky Bucks), a library card, a residence hall access card, and an access card to events and facilities on campus. It is very important to keep with you at all times. Please note that your ID belongs to you. If someone else uses your ID, it will be confiscated.

What do I do if I lose my ID card?

You must have an ID card to gain entrance to a dining unit. If you have lost your ID card and would like to utilize your meal plan, call the One Card office (located on the 2nd floor of Wilbur Cross) at (860) 486-3129 to have it deactivated. You will need a replacement card before eating your next meal. Replacement IDs cost $15.

What if I can't get to a dining facility for a certain meal?

If you are unable to get to the dining units due to a class, lab, internship, job or other commitment, you may get a bag meal to take with you. You must come to the Dining Services office to pick up a "Bag Meal Request Form". Upon completion of the form requirements, return the Request Form to the manager of the dining facility where you plan to eat. Bag lunches may be picked up during the breakfast meal period and bag dinners may be picked up during the breakfast or lunch meal periods. If students need special meal services due to scheduled field trips or off-campus internships, they should see the Dining Unit Manager during the first week of classes.

Can I bring my backpack into the dining unit?

Yes, you may bring your backpacks into dining area if you so choose. You may also, however, check your laptop, bags and/or valuables with the validine operator. Fill out a baggage ID tag for each item that you will be storing while you are in the dining room. Keep the receipt(s) that you are given. Upon returning to collect your things, you must show your photo ID before receiving them. You will not be allowed to pick up anyone else's items except your own. You may bring your laptop computer without the cases into the dining room. You may also utilize lockers if they are available in your area. If you do not have your own lock one can be provided for you to use. Dining Services shares no liability in the storage of laptop computers, knapsacks, and other bags with valuables. Store them at their own risk.

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