What if I need help completing the application?

We would love to help you! You can come into the BNC during business hours and we'd be happy to help you fill it out. We are located at 1030 SW Madison Ave in Corvallis. 

When is the deadline? Why is there a deadline?

The deadline is Friday of Week 1 each term at 5pm. The deadline is implemented to ensure that we at the BNC have enough time to process the applications and allocate the funds so that students will be able to use their award money as soon as possible.

Is food assistance available over the summer?

Yes. The application is available during the first week of the longer, 11 week session, with a deadline of 5 pm on Friday of week 1.

Why do I have to apply each term?

We want you to apply each term because we know that people’s financial situations can change. We might change the application timeline in the future.

How does the decision get made? Who gets food assistance and who doesn't?

The allocation decisions for who gets food assistance funds is based on a series of questions designed to better understand your individual experience of food insecurity. In addition to these questions we ask that you provide any additional information that might be helpful in describing your food security needs and how Mealbux funds might play into your overall food security strategy.

What information from my application is shared and with whom?

Select BNC staff members can view your data to process your application and to connect you to helpful resources. You can read more about how we share your data on this page about our philosophy about student data. Your data is kept for roughly 7 years from the term you completed the application. 

What if other people need this more than me?

We recognize that hunger and poverty can be subjective and that comparing yourself to others may prevent you from accessing services that you could potentially benefit from. Therefore, if you are struggling to afford healthy and filling food regularly on your limited budget, you should apply for food assistance (regardless of whether or not you feel that others need it more than you). We have a process in place to make sure we're allocating food assistance to those who need it. Please be honest when you fill out your application and trust us to consider how best to support everyone who needs it - including you!

How much will be allocated?

It's hard to say - it depends on how much money we have in our budget, grants, and other complex funding streams. It's important to know that not everyone will get the same amount. Some people have more challenging financial struggles than others - so they may get a little more food assistance to account for that. Even if you think you and your friend have the exact same financial challenges, there isn't a guarantee that you'll both get the same amount or that you'll both get the same support. 

Please know that receiving Mealbux funds in one term does not guarantee that you will receive them in the future. Mealbux decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and change based on the total number of applicants and the amount of funds available each term. 

When do food assistance funds get distributed?

We aim to distribute food assistance funds by the Monday of Week 4 of the term in which the student has applied. Sometimes our partner staff are out of office or there are administrative barriers that might make things take longer. Keep an eye on your email or feel free to contact us at [email protected].

How can I check my balance?

You can also access your Mealbux or Full Plate Fund balance by going to https://mycard.oregonstate.edu and signing in using your ONID information. The "My Accounts" section will have the information you're looking for.

If your card isn't working please contact the ID Center in the MU for help. 

How will this impact my financial aid?

Food assistance is a way that OSU provides student aid to help our low-income students afford college. How much you get in food assistance (Mealbux or Full Plate Funds) will be included in the total financial aid you’re receiving from the institution. For a very small number of students, this may mean that they get slightly less financial aid. This usually only impacts students who receive a very high amount of scholarships or grants. If you have questions about your specific situation, please ask the staff at Financial Aid if this might impact your case.

When do my food assistance funds expire?

If you got Mealbux and you are a student who will still be enrolled the following year, then your funds will roll over. If you are graduating, you will have a 2-3 month grace period over the summer to use your funds until your account is erased from the OSU database. For specific dates on when your account will be removed, you can contact the ID center personally. If you have food assistance from the Full Plate Fund, you should use your funds by the end of the Spring term in the year in which you received the funds. Any unused funds will get pulled back into the pool to be re-distributed to other food-insecure students.

I ran out of Mealbux or Full Plate Funds - can I apply for more?

Not this term, unfortunately. We have to limit these resources to a one-time-per-student-per-term basis for budget reasons. Other BNC Food Security resources may help.

How do I give feedback?

We welcome feedback. You can email us anytime at [email protected].