By Baker Tilney
Under Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE)’s pilot program launched this summer, undergraduates continue to use meal plan dollars at The Market at Munger.
Launched on July 1, the program allows students to pay for any of the campus grocery store’s more than 2,000 items with meal plan dollars, including non-food items such as toiletries and Stanford apparel. It is currently set to run until December, when it will be evaluated for continuation.
Previously, the market accepted Cardinal Dollars in addition to cash. While Cardinal Dollars have to be purchased from Stanford Dining and never expire, meal plan dollars are included with most undergraduate meal plans. Up to 50 unused meal plan dollars transfer quarter to quarter, and all expire at the end of the school year, prompting students to often try to use them before quarter’s end.
In July, R&DE spokesperson Cynthia Liu explained that the pilot program was an attempt to give students more options in using their meal plan dollars.
Pinnaree Tea-mangkornpan ‘15 did not buy products from the market prior to the beginning of the program because she preferred to use her meal plan dollars at places that accepted them, but she is now a frequent customer.
“Over the past summer that Munger took meal plan dollars, I visited at least once a week to get fruits, good snacks, gelato, eggs and other commodities,” Tea-mangkornpan said.
Tea-mangkornpan hopes that The Market at Munger will continue to accept meal plan dollars going forward, saying that she will become its biggest customer. She added that she saves time and money by shopping at Munger rather than at off-campus stores.
Accepting meal plan dollars has the potential to further broaden the market’s customer base, appealing to students like Robert Stineman ‘15.
“I’ve never been shopping at Munger, but now I have a good reason to check it out,” Stineman said.
Representatives from R&DE were unavailable for comment.