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ֱ Dining Services streamlining meal plans, expanding Dawg Dollars use this fall

Contact: Carl Smith

STARKVILLE, Miss.—As Mississippi State and its ֱ Dining Services partner Aramark renovate and expand physical dining spaces on campus, many changes are coming to student meal plans, flex dollars and how and where students can access these services.

POD Market scene
Mississippi State and its ֱ Dining Services partner Aramark are creating even more options for a wide variety of meal offerings across campus. (Photo by Megan Bean)

“As we began thinking about the dining experience for our students, our partners with Aramark came to the table with great ideas to improve our existing program and create a dining program that is more flexible and accessible to students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt. “From exciting new dining concepts to new venues and technologies that enable efficiencies for our students and dining team members, the next five years will bring shifts to the ֱ dining experience that will improve student satisfaction and increase the availability of options our students and the ֱ community desire.”

Beginning this fall, meal plans will change from a fully block meal structure to a weekly meal structure and include new block meal and Dawg Dollar options. Block meals can be used at Fresh Food Company, McArthur Café and the Perry Food Truck during the upcoming academic year and beginning fall 2025, the new Azalea Hall dining facility and the newly renovated Perry Hall. Also, they can be used this fall, once daily, as meal equivalency at retail locations. Students will be able to choose from a simplified, more tailored set of meal plan options: Weekly 21, Weekly 14, Weekly 7, Block 60, Block 30 or a $200 Flex Plan. All first-year residential students are required to have either the Weekly 21 or Weekly 14 plan.

Currently, students may use a block meal as a meal equivalency—a $6.58 value, including tax, for a single meal—once from 4-9 p.m. and again from 9-11 p.m. per day at all on-campus restaurant locations except Maroon Markets and Starbucks. With the new meal plans, the meal equivalency option will be available at any time and any participating location, and the value will increase to $8.

Flex dollars will be rebranded as “Dawg Dollars” in the new dining plan. This money associated with students’ accounts will have expanded uses this fall at the Barnes & Noble Café, sponsored food trucks on campus, select concession stands at ֱ football and basketball games, residence hall laundry machines and some vending machines, while ֱ Dining Services continues to explore other uses. Beginning in August, all full-time, first-year students registered for classes on the Starkville campus, regardless of residency, must have $300 in Dawg Dollars in their accounts per semester. These funds will roll over from semester to semester and year to year. When students graduate, any unused money will be refunded.

Dawg Dollars logo

In fall 2025, all full-time undergraduates registered for classes on the Starkville campus under the age of 25 on the first day of class will be required to have $300 worth of Dawg Dollars in their accounts per semester.

ֱ Dining Services will bring in several food trucks to various places across campus after renovations begin on Marketplace at Perry following May commencement, and these locations will accept Dawg Dollars. Additionally, the State Fountain Bakery location in Colvard Student Union will temporarily serve as a “Perry-to-Go” venue where students can use block meals. The new location for Subway and Bento Sushi will open this fall at the former site of the ֱ Florist.

ֱ also is constructing Azalea Hall, a nearly $100 million residence hall that will serve as a central hub for campus life, dining and other community needs for decades to come. The facility will provide new dining options in the northern part of campus, including pizza and Mediterranean locations serving hand-tossed pizzas, made-to-order pastas and more; an innovative ghost kitchen offering a diverse, rotating lineup of culinary choices; food lockers for convenient, contactless pickup for students on the go; and a Maroon Market.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024 - 11:07 am