Orientation Resources

College is a time of discovery. It’s a place to discover yourself, your passion, your friends, and your nutritional needs. Tackling what’s best for your lifestyle and body doesn’t have to be challenging. 

M Food Co. provides a range of delicious and healthy options with meal plans that nourish your campus experience.

The benefits of a meal plan go beyond the obvious stability, quality, and value. We consider each student family and continuously look for new ways to ensure the experience is memorable - because college years are meant to be unforgettable. 

  • Menus are available online with full nutrition information and each item is identified.
  • Our chefs and dietitian are trained and eager to assist with any dietary restriction or concern.
  • We embrace and support the local community by bringing authentic, local products to campus.

There are six all-you-care-to-eat dining halls, and meal plans are required for all students living in residence halls. Students living in a residence hall can select one of three convenient plans (Unlimited Silver, Gold, and Platinum) and we will work with you on special dietary needs. Block meal plans are also available for apartment and commuter students.

We are here to help!
  • Do you have questions about your meal plan or eating on campus?
  • Stop by our Ask M Food Co. Zoom Sessions on select Fridays (listed below) in June & July from 2-2:30pm. 
    • Ask M Food Co. Zoom Sessions have ended for the summer, please contact us via email if you have any questions.
  • M Food Co. will participate in the Resource Fair, Gopher Living on Campus Sessions, and Parent & Family Living on Campus Sessions on Day 1 of New Student Orientation
    • Resource Fair (Coffman Memorial Union 1st Floor, 8-9:30am)
    • Gopher Living on Campus Session (4:20-4:50pm)
    • Parent & Family Living on Campus Session (4:20-4:55pm) 
  • Or contact us at [email protected].
  • Sign up for M Food Co. updates on the Gopher Family Connection
  • Contact Amy, Registered Dietitian, if you have questions regarding special diets and nutrition information

Frequently Asked Questions

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When does my meal plan start?

For students on a residential meal plan, move-in meals will be provided on Monday and Tuesday, August 28 and 29. You can view hours for these days on the Dine On Campus website. During move-in, families and guests may also visit the dining hall for a meal by paying the door rate.

Meals will be provided as part of the Welcome Week experience beginning on Wednesday, August 30.

Meal plans for residential and apartment/commuter students will begin on Saturday, September 2.

Am I required to have a meal plan?

Students living in Bailey, Pioneer, Comstock, Frontier, Middlebrook, Sanford, Territorial, Centennial, or 17th Ave Halls are required to select a meal plan on their application for housing. If you don’t indicate your meal plan preference, you will automatically be assigned to the Unlimited Silver + 100 Dining Dollar meal plan.

Students living in an apartment or off-campus can choose to sign up for a weekly or block meal plan.

Dining Dollar plans are available for any student - with or without a meal plan - and can be used at any M Food Co. location.

Where can I use my meal plan?

Meal swipes can be used in any of our six all-you-care-to-eat dining centers. These are located inside Pioneer, 17th Avenue, Comstock (residents only), Sanford, Middlebrook, and Bailey Hall. 

Dining Dollars can be used at any on-campus M Food Co. location, including Starbucks, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Caribou Coffee, and more.

Meal swipes and Dining Dollars are loaded on your U Card.

What are Dining Dollars? Can I add more if I run low?

Each meal plan comes with Dining Dollars that can be used at any on-campus M Food Co. location, including Starbucks, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Caribou Coffee, and more. These funds are conveniently loaded on your U Card.

Dining Dollars make your U Card work like a declining balance card. When purchasing food, present your U Card to the cashier and let them know you want to use Dining Dollars. They will swipe your card and deduct your purchase from your Dining Dollars account balance.

You can add more Dining Dollars to your U Card at any time by visiting dining.umn.tc.edu/diningdollars

Unused Dining Dollars carry over from the fall to spring semester. Each May, any funds remaining in individual Dining Dollars accounts will be removed and transferred to the U of M.

Can I upgrade or change my meal plan?

For students living in a Residence Hall, spring meal plan changes will take place during November and students will receive an email from Housing and Residential Life and M Food Co. with instructions.

Students living in an apartment or off-campus can request a change to their meal plan within 10 business days after purchasing (or the first day of class if purchased before classes begin). To request a change, email [email protected] with your student ID and specific meal plan change request.

Where can I find the dining hall menu?

You can view menus, nutritional information, specials, and more on your phone by downloading the Dine On Campus app (iOS and Android) or by visiting https://dineoncampus.com/UMN/whats-on-the-menu.

I want to work on campus! Are you hiring?

As the largest student employer on campus, we have a number of work opportunities available. We understand that you are a student, first and foremost, and will work with your busy class schedule to find work times that work for you. To learn more about the positions we have available and to apply, visit dining.tc.umn.edu/employment/students.

I have a food allergy or special diet. What are my options?

If you have a food allergy or are in need of dietary assistance, please reach out to us as soon as possible. Our culinary and dietetics staff is trained to develop a delicious solution to meet your needs.

Amy Hommes, MS, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian with M Food Co. She is here to help students with food allergies, intolerances, diseases, and conditions while navigating the dining hall menus. Amy is also available to help with healthy dining on campus via vegan and vegetarian options, balanced meals, and wellness. She can be contacted at [email protected].


My class schedule makes it hard to get to the dining hall. Can I take my meal to go?

Busy day? Never miss a meal again!

With the M Food Co. To-Go program, you can stop in with a meal swipe and take five minutes to fill up on your favorite foods while you’re on the way to a study session or class. First-year students on a residential meal plan will be provided a complimentary to-go container when you move in. Using the a to-go container counts as one meal swipe and can only be used once per day

Learn more at dining.tc.umn.edu/to-go