UGA adds dining options, increases meal plan participation

More than 400 new purchasers signed on after new dining location, Sunday dinner service added.

ATHENS, Ga. — While the meal plan at University of Georgia may be simple to understand and comparative to the price of other schools’ options, the convenience and quality it provides is what keeps students coming back.

Bryan Varin, the interim executive director of UGA Food Services, said there are more than 8,700 students on meal plan, with about 90 percent selecting the seven-day plan. Additionally, he said, UGA Food Services surpassed its goals and increased last year’s numbers by more than 400 purchasers, which he attributed to the opening of the new Bolton and the addition of Sunday dinner service.

The unlimited meal plan, which costs $3,956 for the full week and $3,754 for the five-day option, comes out to $4.97 and $7.33 respectively per meal, assuming a student goes to the dining halls three times a day for every possible day the dining halls are open.

“There are a lot of factors that go into determining the price we charge for the meal plan. There are food costs, labor costs, utilities, lease payments for things like vehicles, mortgages for Bolton and the construction of the Village Summit, and administrative overhead,” Varin said.

Eating the costs

While Varin said the meal plan prices usually increase 1 to 2 percent a year due to food costs, this year’s price did not change from the 2013 to 2014 school year.

“This year we did not raise any of the rates. President Morehead gave an initiative to everyone to help with the cost of higher education across the board, so in supporting, that we did not raise our rates,” he said.

Instead, UGA Food Services began a new program this year offering a 10 percent discount for students and employees who eat at dining halls on a walk-in basis.

But for Aaron Klein, who lives

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