Culinary cash donations feed fellow Lawrentians

In order to provide an alternate option for students to use any remaining culinary cash, there will now be two donation options offered at the end of the term. Although many students budget their culinary cash so they do not have money remaining, others end the term with a surplus. 

Whether a student has three cents remaining in their account or $50, culinary cash can be donated in two different forms this year. Due to the changes in the meal plan this year, culinary cash will no longer roll over and will expire at the end of each term, so this provides an option to eliminate waste and feed fellow Lawrentians.

In the past, at the end of the school year students have been able to donate any remaining culinary cash they have at the Café and in Kate’s Corner Store. Previously, funds were donated to the Lawrence University Student Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club, Harbor House and the Pillars Homeless Shelter amongst other organizations. 

This year, culinary cash donations will go to the Student Food Pantry located in Sabin House and Pillars Homeless Shelter. Culinary cash donations will be accepted from Friday, Nov. 22, through Tuesday, Nov. 26.

For every culinary cash dollar donated, 50% of the funds will be provided to the given organization. The remaining 50% is primarily for labor and some fixed costs. The donated funds account for the food cost, which is the money used to purchase food to feed students. 

Unlike in the past, there will now be another option for students to use their culinary cash to help others. Students will also be encouraged to buy from the Corner Store and donate non-perishable food items in order to actively give and see their dollars translate into actual food. The food will then be donated directly to feed their fellow Lawrentians at the Food Pantry. 

Food items will be collected at Midnight Breakfast in Andrew Commons on Saturday, Nov. 23. Bon Appetit has decided to provide incentives to encourage students to participate in this food drive, including coupons for one free coffee drink in the Café or one free pound of candy from the Corner Store. Vice President for Student Life Christopher Card will be handing out these coupons to participating students at Midnight Breakfast.

These incentives will also be offered at the Holiday Dinner on Monday, Nov. 25, in Andrew Commons. The Holiday Dinner is a chance for students to gather together before leaving for winter break, as well as a Holiday Party for Bon Appetit employees. Employees and their families are invited to the dinner and will be encouraged to participate in the food drive as well. 

Photo by Allegra Taylor.

Faculty and staff in particular will be able to participate in the food drive during the first two weeks of December while Kate’s Corner Store is still open during break. Bon Appetit will incentivize donations from faculty and staff with coupons as well as drawings and giveaways.

This additional donation option was proposed to the General Manager of Bon Appetit at Lawrence University Julie Severance, by a Community Advisor involved in the Service and Social Responsibility focus area in collaboration with the Center for Community Engagement and Social Change. This suggestion was aimed to involve students in more active forms of giving, as well as provide an alternate option to the culinary cash donations which only result in half of the funds going to the organization.

With the changes to the meal plan this year, food has become a frequent topic for people around Lawrence. Although some students have been out of culinary cash for weeks now, others still have hundreds of dollars in their account. Despite frustrations that have been voiced about changes, according to Severance, students are eating more frequently and breakfast alone is up more than 150%. 

If anyone has any questions about the donation processes, they should reach out to Molly Ruffing, at, or Julie Severance with Bon Appetit. If there are any concerns about the meal plan that have yet to be addressed, they are best directed to the Student Welfare Committee, Vice President Card or Warch Campus Center Director Greg Griffin. 

As Severance explained, meal plans are set by Lawrence University, not Bon Appetit; Bon Appetit assists Lawrence with pricing out the requests from the university and then implementing the plan once it is set, but the plan is set by Lawrence.