Fobbed off: Freshers campaign for fairer meal card system

Students losing £60 a year – because they aren’t spending it


Thousands of disgruntled freshers are demanding changes to the meal card system – claiming they are being fobbed off.

The meal card grants £5.20 per day to spend on lunch. But the system will pocket any unspent pennies, meaning our money has been taken from our grasp.

The SU are currently looking for students’ opinions on the planned changes.

Amy Collins posted a petition on the Nottingham Freshers’ Facebook page, signed by 103 people so far, outlining the reasoning for her anger and encouraging others to join the campaign.

She said: “I have estimated, based on myself having lost around 40 pence every weekday since arriving, that I will lose roughly £60 this year.”

halls food 2

With money left to spend after your meal, students end up buying an extra packet of crisps or chocolate to rest their morals: the biggest scandal of force-feeding since the suffragettes movement.

Chrissie, a student with allergy problems, said: “Most choices are unhealthy anyway, and the healthy food runs out. Due to my allergies, I’m left with no choice but to eat unhealthy stuff. Even the salads have ingredients that would make me seriously ill.”

“I would rather have no meal card at all, and spend my money with freedom. Alternatively, provide a greater choice for people with eating requirements.”

Bearing in mind that catered students have already paid for the extra protein and questionable quality of hall meals, it makes perfect sense that they can at least buy them when they want, or alternatively, let the money roll over to the next day.

Another grumbling Fresher, Vish, said: “If you miss dinner, the hall will give you a packed lunch, but they are shit.”

Nathan, a Yorkshire local who values his food more than his Music degree, is also unhappy. He said: “If I want a good, standard lunch (sandwich, crisps, fruit, drink, etc.), it somehow costs more than £5.20. I can get a meal-deal elsewhere for half the price.”

“I just want to eat my lunch and keep my nut down.”

Nathan’s nut will probably cost him £5.20 or so.

Beth, 2nd year Nursing student agrees with the plans. She said: “I was self-catered in halls last year cause it cost too much to go catered. I didn’t even know that’s how it worked, bit stupid it ever was like that.”

Alternatives are bountiful, and Universities such as Sheffield and Birmingham have a weekly meal card allowance, so that leftover change adds up to something useful for the end of the week, such as post night-out Domino’s Pizza or Special Brew.

Nobody wants to be forced into debt or obesity, but unless the Nottingham meal card system is changed, the shitty muffin staring at you from the Café counter will definitely look better on your room shelf or in your belly.

And to put the cherry on top of the probably out of date cake, the meal card has a fucking ugly mug-shot on it.