Hunger and food insecurity affect thousands of individuals and families around the country every day. Here at CMU, as many as one in every three students may be experiencing hunger. The Student Food Pantry, meal swipe donation program, and $1 meals are here to support students who need a little extra help.

  • The Student Food Pantry, located beneath the Robinson Residential Restaurant, is open weekly from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, 3-5 p.m. Wednesday and from 12-2 p.m. Fridays
  • Blocks of 10 meal swipes are available to eligible students and can be used in any campus residential restaurant.
  • $1 meals are available for purchase weekly from 6-7 p.m. Monday and Thursday

You can find more information on each of these programs below.

Why are these programs needed at CMU?

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Statistics found from the EAB Study titled "Addressing College Students Basic Needs: Food and Housing Insecurity on Campus"

Student Food Pantry

The Student Food Pantry at Central Michigan University works to alleviate the challenges and hardships of food insecurity that about one in three CMU students encounter during their academic career. The food pantry provides much needed support for students so they can remain enrolled and ultimately achieve a degree. The Student Food Pantry is open weekly on Tuesday 5-7 pm, Wednesday 3-5 pm, and Friday 12-2 pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the pantry be open?

The food pantry will open the first week of classes. The first distribution will be Tuesday, January 14th from 5-7 pm. The pantry is open weekly on Tuesday 5-7 pm, Wednesday 3-5 pm, and Friday 12-2 pm. 

Where is the pantry located?
The food pantry is located by the North Campus Success Center on the lower level, underneath Robinson Residential Restaurant.

What are the requirements to get food?

The pantry is open to any currently enrolled CMU student. We verify enrollment, but do not have any financial eligibility requirements. Students sign a statement acknowledging a need for food assistance.

Where is the food coming from?

The food is purchased primarily from Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB). We purchase additional food from Meijer and receive donations from Aldi, campus departments, RSOs, etc.

How do I volunteer?

Visit the Engage Central page to check for current volunteer opportunities.

Are there any other places to receive food?

Yes! Scroll down to learn about other campus resources. Also, check out this pdf for food resources in the surrounding area: 

Food Resources.pdf

Are there any other types of resources for students in need?


Care Store


Financial Wellness

Isabella County Restoration House

General Resource Assistance - dial 211

Meal Swipes

To receive meal swipes, please complete the online form on the Student Food Pantry Engage Central Platform.

  • You will receive confirmation that your request has been submitted via Engage Central.
  • 10 meal swipes will be added to your card by the end of the next business day.
  • You may request meal swipes once per semester.
  • If you need additional help, please call the Volunteer Center at 989-774-7685 or email 


If you want to donate meal swipes, please visit the Campus Card Office in the Bovee University Center. Donations can begin after February 10th when semester meal plans are finalized. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can request meal swipes?

Any current CMU student who does not have a meal plan may request a block of 10 meals by completing the online form found on the CMU Student Food Pantry Engage Central Page.


I have a meal plan. Can I still get help?

Students with an existing meal plan are not currently eligible to receive additional meal swipes, but help is still available. Any student may receive food at the Student Food Pantry, and those who need additional help can speak to a Care Advocate about additional support available by calling 989-774-2273.


I requested meals – when will I receive them?

It takes approximately one full business day for meals to appear on your account. For example, if you submit your request Monday before 5 p.m., your meals should appear on your card by 5 p.m. the following Tuesday evening. Requests submitted on Friday will appear before 5 p.m. the following Monday. Requests submitted during university breaks or holidays may require additional time to process.


I requested meals but my card was declined in the residential restaurant. What should I do?

Please contact the Central Card office at 989-774-3484 or You may also visit Bovee UC 209 M-F 8 am-5 pm.


How can I donate meals?

Students with meal plans may donate their unused guest meal swipes by visiting the CMU Card Office in the Bovee University Center after February 10th. We hope to have donation days at other sites on campus later this semester.


$1 Meals

Who can buy $1 meals?

Any student may purchase the $1 meals with cash in the Down Under Food Court between 6-7 p.m. on Monday and Thursday evenings. There are no eligibility requirements to purchase a meal.


Where do the meals come from?

$1 meals are assembled using unused food from the residential restaurants and may include soup, salad, sandwiches and other items.

How Can I Help?

Volunteers are needed to distribute meals. The volunteer opportunities are posted on the Food Pantry Engage Page.

Other questions about any of these programs?

Please call the Volunteer Center at 989-774-7685 or email