Food Assistance Programs

The BNC Food Assistance Application is the place where students can apply for Mealbux every term by the Friday of week 1. Students who appear to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may not qualify for this funding program. 

This application is not the application for SNAP. Please click on the link at the bottom of this page if you would like to apply for SNAP or need assistance completing your SNAP application. If you have been denied SNAP but believe it to be a wrongful denial, come on in to the BNC and chat with us about appeal options. 

*Please note: The BNC Food Assistance Application now includes only the Mealbux program. If you are a student with a UHDS dining plan or have received Full Plate Funds in the past six months, please read below for program updates.*

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Program Changes

Some of our food assistance programs are shifting how they are delivered to better support the needs of OSU students and to encourage engagement in conversations about food security strategies. The BNC is a place for peers to develop strategies to support basic needs and solve everyday problems. We encourage you to come by the BNC to talk about food security strategies and learn more about these programs. You can connect with a peer navigator at the BNC and discuss food strategies that might include our food assistance programs, the BNC and other local food pantries, SNAP support, and other local resources. Talking with our peer navigators also provides the opportunity to learn from their unique and diverse experiences as your fellow OSU students. Look below each program description for eligibility guidelines and how to participate in these programs.

Mealbux

The Mealbux program was created in 2009 for students who were struggling to buy meals for themselves and were having to choose between buying groceries and paying for school. The BNC wanted to make sure that no student had to make that choice, and thus started this program to allow students to focus on being successful in school rather than having to worry about where their next meal was coming from. This program is funded through Corvallis campus student fees, so these funds are not available to Ecampus and OSU-Cascades students or OSU staff and faculty.

Mealbux are funds available to students on their ID cards so they can buy meals on campus at any of the restaurants/cafes on campus or any location that accepts Orange Cash. If you spend your Mealbux at on-campus locations (other than the coffeeshop in the parking garage, which does not accept Orange Cash), you can save 10% off the cost of your meal.

Eligibility for this program includes students who are ineligible for or have been formally denied SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funds. This program is particularly helpful for international students and those who are undocumented. Complete the Food Assistance Application (linked above) to apply.

Full Plate Funds

Food insecurity affects all students, even those that are living in campus residence halls, even when they have a dining plan. The Full Plate Fund was created in collaboration with University Housing and Dining Services in 2017 to help address this issue. This program is funded by other students who donate their unused dining dollars to support their classmates. Students with dining plans can donate money from their meal plans to the Full Plate Fund at any time and the BNC distributes these donated funds to other residence hall students who are struggling to get enough to eat. Donations can be made at any cash register in the UHDS dining centers.

Full Plate Funds are deposited into a student's dining dollars account to be used on-campus at dining hall locations. A student cannot spend Full Plate Funds until they have fully run out UHDS Dining Dollars. Students can use these funds at UHDS dining facilities and the campus grocery store, Cascadia Market - just like their regular dining plan.

Eligibility for this program includes students who have a UHDS dining plan and have $100 or less remaining on their account. This program is particularly helpful for students who would otherwise have applied for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Please stop by the BNC and talk to one of our peer navigators to learn more about this program.

Food for Thought

University Housing and Dining Services, offers a meal program called the Food for Thought program. Dining staff create pre-packaged, balanced meal options that are available for free to students with participation cards. These nutritionally balanced meals are also sold in the dining halls at a low cost, available for purchase by anyone in all UHDS dining centers Monday-Friday (while supplies last). 

Eligibility for this program includes any student who is facing food insecurity and could benefit from access to a fully balanced meal on occasion. This program is particularly helpful for those who frequently visit UHDS dining halls on the OSU campus. Please stop by the BNC and talk to one of our peer navigators to learn more about this program.