McGill University students crying foul over school’s food prices

Click to play video: 'McGill University students crying foul over school’s food prices'
McGill University students crying foul over school’s food prices
WATCH: Some students at McGill University are outraged over the high cost of food on campus. They argue inflated prices are forcing some to even skip meals and are calling on the institution to subsidize the cafeteria prices. Global's Phil Carpenter reports – Mar 7, 2023

Six-dollar sandwich wraps being sold at the student-run EUS General Store at McGill University‘s downtown Montreal campus are a godsend, say some students.

They say buying food through the school has become much too pricy.

“With the mandatory meal plan you can only afford one to two meals a day, not including snacks,” said second-year student Emily Hardie, a member of a coalition of students called Let’s Eat McGill.

They’ve made it their mission to bring food prices down at the school.

First, students who live on campus enroll in a declining balance meal plan.

According to McGill, the plan is mandatory because there are no facilities that allow students to cook their own meals.

Story continues below advertisement

That plan has gotten more expensive, say the students.

“Including administrative fees, it’s over $6,000,” explained Lola Milder, another second-year student who’s also part of Let’s Eat McGill, “and that’s just for an eight-month academic year.”

The price of food sold at school-run canteens has also jumped and, according to the students, their buying power has been considerably reduced.

“A slice of pizza is $11, salads are almost $18,” Hardie noted.

Global News saw chicken wraps being sold for $11 and cheeseburgers for $9.99.

The result of the price increases, say students, is that they often don’t eat, and some have become increasingly dependent on student-run initiatives like free lunches.

Others turn to shops like the EUS General Store where food is cheaper.

“Yeah, I’ve seen significantly more customers coming through this year than last year,” store manager and fifth-year student Dina Shoham observed.

McGill isn’t the only school where students say they can’t access food.

According to Meal Exchange, which studies the issue, more than 50 per cent of students at 13 Canadian universities faced food insecurity in fall 2021.

Story continues below advertisement

McGill wasn’t part of that survey.

In a statement Tuesday, McGill blamed the high costs at that institution on inflation.

The statement reads in part, “after an extensive review and in response to feedback from students, SHHS will be transitioning away from the current mandatory declining balance meal plan and will be implementing an All You Care To Eat (AYCTE) meal plan model in the residential dining halls starting in the Fall 2023.”

The coalition of student groups plan to keep pushing the institution for more support and plan to hold an assembly on campus Tuesday evening to speak to students about the issue.

Sponsored content