Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Food vs. Students

Many students have become increasingly upset with the inflation of food prices on campus and some even believe that they are being taken advantage of by Food services. “They know college kids are lazy and that they will not drive off campus to get food,” junior Rhett Dixon said. “They will charge whatever they want because they know how college students are. They will raise the prices for this reason.” Students are paying much more for yogurt, snack bars, candy, and other snack items on campus than they would at grocery stores such as Wal-Mart and Kroger. A 6 oz. container of Yoplait yogurt at the Union can be purchased for $1.19 while the same container can be purchased at Wal-Mart for 53 cents. Candy items such as M&M’s can be purchased at Kroger for 50 cents, while students are paying $1.50 at the C-store.

Ole Miss Dining Services Marketing Manager, Laine Poole says that they cannot be compared to places such as Wal-Mart because they are convenient stores. She also says that every year food services holds a survey to compare prices of their food items to their competition around town and compared to competition at gas stations including Shell and BP, prices are relatively the same and sometimes even lower. Food services claim their main goal is to benefit the students and not to put them at a disadvantage. Poole states that “We are here to satisfy students’ needs on campus, It is a convenience to save gas, not have to look for a parking spot and get what you need in between class.”

Dining Services provides special combo meals in the Union ranging around $7 and happy hour specials for $5 which allow students to save more money. Food services are also encouraging students to stay on campus through Facebook and Twitter by offering promotions to get the students attention and give them what they want. Another way food services are trying to save money is by encouraging recycling. They currently provide ecofriendly to-go boxes for students at the Johnson Commons. They are made of recycled plastic and the students can use them, returned them so they can be sterilized, and receive another one, all for a $5 deposit.

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