The Stress of Meal Plans


by Kendra Campbell, Staff Reporter

Simpson College students are running out of the meal plans provided due to insufficient amounts on the plans and are left to fend for themselves with poor cooking areas in their living spaces. 

Simpson gives students three options when picking out a meal plan. Each meal plan includes flex dollars and boards. The 3 meal plans provided include 150 boards with 275 flex, 200 boards and 75 flex, and 19 boards a week with 75 flex.

When I calculate this, Simpson students have roughly 109 days on campus, not including missed absences due to extracurricular activities or other campus events. In order of the meal plans listed above, students get 1.38 boards and 2.52 flex a day, 1.83 boards and 0.69 flex a day, or with the stipulation of the 19 board a week plan, they all must be used that week, not even giving three meals a day.

With Simpson requiring students to pay for a meal plan, why can Simpson not give us enough for three meals a day with our busy schedules? Going to the 19 meals a week sounds like the best option, however with the hours of the food options Pfeiffer is usually the only option. Yet, with the assortment of food violations just discovered in our dining hall, it does not sound very appetizing after a long practice, work or any other reason. 

Students at Simpson are busy with extracurricular activities, getting into grad schools, work and staying on top of their studies. When running out of the meal plan, how are they supposed to go out and get food to fill their bodies with the proper nutrients? 

How about where students are supposed to cook? Freshmen and sophomore living does not provide the best cooking conditions/kitchens where maybe two people can cook at the same time. Juniors and seniors living in apartments have an advantage with having a kitchen, however that means students must go out and buy groceries every week. 

However, meal plans are already pricey, and students must then go out and buy proper food to fuel our bodies? Not to mention all the other necessities students must pay for. 

Not only am I paying off student debt, but also school tuition while having to work three jobs. Now I must worry about buying more food that will keep me healthy and have enough energy for my full day of activities. Not to mention keeping my grades up. 

There is a plan where you can get more boards towards the end of the semester if you run out which I am thankful for. However, after consistently running out of meal plan, I spend at least 50 dollars a week to eat one meal a day in my apartment. 50 dollars a week adds up throughout the year and on top of an expensive meal plan is ridiculous. 

With that being said I wish Simpson would give an option for at least three meals a day, be budget friendly, have flexible hours and not make me worry about getting food poisoning. However, I do believe that over the past few years Simpson has gotten better with students running out of meal plans like creating a way for students to get more boards.