Food for Thought costs cash

Nicole Stempak

The Food for Thought café on the second floor of White Hall offers a full café and a quiet place to study. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Freshman chemistry major Sharla Allen didn’t know Food for Thought isn’t affiliated with University Dining Services.

“I was surprised that they didn’t accept the meal plan,” she said. “I thought that all buildings on campus accepted the meal plans.”

Food for Thought, which is located in Room 213 of White Hall, is run by the College of Education, Health and Human Services. The café’s niche is healthy food, with an emphasis on smaller portions and low-fat items. Although the café doesn’t accept the meal plan, it does accept cash and FlashCash. It will also begin accepting credit cards next month.

“We’re the first of our kind that’s a separate entity from dining services,” manager Greta Siler said.

Andrea Spandonis, director of dining services, said Food for Thought café operates under the White Hall budget, whereas the dining halls are run by the dining services budgets.

Dining services supports the Food for Thought cafe’ with procurement efforts, but the café is financially independent, she said.

As such, the café cannot accept the meal plan. Siler said she understands the confusion.

“I understand why students would want and think they could use their meal plan card here, but we are not able to access those funds allocated to dining services,” she said.

Still, “business has been very good” since the café opened Sept. 28, Siler said.

Allen believes her visits will be limited now that she knows about payment at the cafe’.

She predicts other students will, too, because students don’t have extra money to spend on food beside their meal plans, she said.

Senior theater major Matt Proctor said he pays for his food anyway because he doesn’t have a meal plan.

“But I feel bad for the freshmen, who do have to have a meal plan,” he said.

Lauren Leininger, freshman fashion design major, likes the concept of the café but would not eat there.

“I would never go there if I can go somewhere else (on campus), and it’s already paid for,” she said. “That makes me mad because I feel like there’s a limited amount of healthy food available on campus.”

Contact news correspondent Nicole Stempak at [email protected]