Meal Plan Q&A

To contact the UM Dining Meal Plan Specialist, please call (406) 243-6325 or email.

Q:  How do I know which meal plan I should select?
A:  We recommend you select a meal plan that accommodates your eating habits and the number of meals or snacks that you prefer each day.  Many students select their meal plan based on flexibility and access to the greatest number of dining venues on campus.  Others prefer to eat all of their meals in the Food Zoo Dining Room.  On the UM campus, students choose the All-Campus Meal Plan 3:1 over the Lommasson Plus Plan due to its convenience, campus-wide flexibility and access to all 25 UM Dining venues. 

Q:  How do I access my Meal Plan Funds and Flex Dollars?
A:  Your Griz Card is the only way to access your Meal Plan and Flex Dollars and must be presented when purchasing food.  

Q:  What happens if I lose my Griz Card?
A:  In order to access your meal plan, you will need to obtain a temporary Griz Card from the Griz Card Center on the first floor of the University Center. To prevent unauthorized use, please report your missing Griz Card immediately. Report your lost Griz Card online 24 hours a day at Lost Griz Card, or call (406) 243-6943 during business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).  Once you report your Griz Card as missing, it is deactivated to prevent unauthorized use of your privileges including door access, meal plans and flex dollars, Bear Bucks, ticket pickup, and UMoney accounts. You are responsible for any activity associated with your Griz Card prior to reporting it lost or stolen.

Q:  Is there a meal plan for off-campus students?
A:  Yes.  Anyone with an active Griz Card (faculty, staff, students, affiliates, retirees, and alumni) can purchase our on-campus meal plans, or activate a Bear Bucks account.  Please stop by the UM Dining Main Office in Lommasson 114, call our meal plan specialist at (406) 243-6325, or email us at Meal Plan Specialist for more information.

Q:  Why am I required to purchase a meal plan just because I’m living in a residence hall?
A:  It is a University of Montana policy that all students living on campus must purchase either the All-Campus or Lommasson Plus Plan, or the Food Zoo Unlimited Plan.  The City Fire Marshal does not allow cooking within the residence halls, and on-campus housing is not designed to safely accommodate cooking or food preparation of any kind.

Q:  I have very specialized dietary needs.  Will my on-campus meal plan accommodate these needs, and do I still have to purchase a meal plan if I live in a residence hall?
A:  UM Dining accommodates most medical dietary restrictions.  The services of our registered dietitian are provided as part of your meal plan.  Our dietitian will assist you in identifying which foods within UMD operations will meet your specific dietary needs.  Yes, all students living in a residence hall must, per University policy, purchase a meal plan.

Q:  How many meals does a meal plan offer each week?
A:  It varies depending on the meal plan you have selected. 

  • The All-Campus Meal Plan provides $78.75 in Weekly Meal Plan Funds, $150 in Flex Dollars per semester, and campus-wide access to 25 dining venues.  If you were to spend $78.75 exclusively in the Food Zoo, this would allow 21 entrances. 
  • The Lommasson Plus Meal Plan provides $56.25 in Weekly Meal Plan Funds and $150 in Flex Dollars per semester.  If you were to spend $52.50 exclusively in the Food Zoo, this would allow 15 entrances. 
  • The Food Zoo Unlimited Plan provides unlimited entries to the Food Zoo dining center for the semester and $200 Flex dollars per semester, providing campus-wide access to 25 venues. 

Q:  How can I check my Weekly Meal Plan Fund balance?
A:  When you make a purchase with your meal plan, the remaining balance is displayed at the cash register.  You can also check these balances at the courtesy reader located in the Corner Store, in the UM Dining Main Office (Lommasson 114), or ask any UMD cashier. 

Q:  Can I host a guest?
A:  You may use your All-Campus or Lommasson Plus Weekly Meal Plan Funds or Flex Dollars to host guests in the Food Zoo at the $3.75 meal plan price, provided you accompany them into the dining room.  When hosting at a retail operation, standard retail pricing applies.

Q:  Can I allow anyone else to use my Griz Card to access my meal plan? 

A:  You cannot allow anyone else to use your Griz Card.  Our cashiers will confiscate any card being used by someone other than the pictured cardholder. 

Q:  Can I change my meal plan, and if so, how?
A:  Yes, under the following conditions.  Meal plan upgrades can be made any time before and throughout the semester.  Meal plan downgrades must be made prior to 3:00 p.m. Friday, September 15, 2017 for fall semester and Friday, February 2, 2018 for spring semester. To change your meal plan, contact the UMD Meal Plan Specialist with your full name, student ID (starting with 790), phone number, and meal plan selection by calling (406) 243-6325 or by email.  You may also stop by the UM Dining Main Office in the Lommasson Center, Room 114 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Q:  Can I cancel my meal plan and how?
A:  If you live or move off-campus, you may cancel your meal plan and receive a prorated refund, less a $25 cancellation fee.  To cancel your meal plan, you must present a signed Residence Life Check-Out Authorization Form to the UM Dining Main Office in Lommasson 114.  Once official notification is received, the refund will be credited to your student account.  Your meal plan will remain in effect until the following Saturday night.  Business Services can assist you with accessing your prorated meal plan refund. The last day to cancel a meal plan is September 29, 2017 for fall semester and February 23, 2018 for spring semester, unless you are withdrawing from the University.  The last day to receive a prorated meal plan refund due to withdrawal from the University is November 17, 2017 for fall semester, and April 6, 2018 for spring semester.

Q:  What happens to my meal plan if I move off campus?
A: Your meal plan will remain in effect until you present a signed Residence Life Check-Out Authorization Form to the UM Dining Main Office in Lommasson 114, at which point your meal plan will remain in effect until the following Saturday night.  Once official notification is received, you may keep your meal plan or you may cancel your meal plan and receive a prorated refund, less a $25 cancellation fee.  The last day to cancel a meal plan is September 29, 2017 for fall semester and Friday, February 23, 2018 for spring semester, unless you are withdrawing from the University.  The last day to receive a prorated meal plan refund due to withdrawal from the University isNovember 17, 2017 for fall semester, and April 6, 2018 for spring semester.  The refund will be credited to your student account and Business Services can assist you with accessing those funds. Once you have access to those funds you can use them to open a Bear Bucks account or purchase one of our commuter meal plans for your on-campus dining convenience.

Q:  How do I access food service during Thanksgiving weekend and spring break?
A:  Students who remain on campus during Thanksgiving weekend and spring break can access foodservice by using their flex dollars.  However, there are limited hours of operation during those periods. 

Q:  What if my Weekly Meal Plan Fund balance is less than the $3.75 meal plan entrance price to the Food Zoo?
A:  If your Weekly Meal Plan Fund balance is lower than $3.75, you can supplement that balance with your Flex Dollars, Bear Bucks, UMoney account, cash, Visa/Mastercard (credit or debit), or check at the $3.75 meal plan entrance price.  You must deplete your Weekly Meal Plan Fund balance before any alternate funding will be accepted.  Once you have depleted your Weekly Meal Plan Fund balance, you may only host a guest at the $3.75 meal plan entrance price if you use Flex Dollars. 

Q:  Why is there a difference between the cost of my meal plan and the sum of my Weekly Meal Plan Funds?
A:  A meal plan is a prepaid purchase of meals for the semester. The difference between the full cost of the meal plan and the sum of the Weekly Meal Plan Fund represents all non-food costs and overhead such as labor, supplies, rent, utilities, and other expenses necessary to operate the UM Dining facilities.  All expenses associated with providing meal service to our guests in the Food Zoo are incurred whether a student uses the service or not.  UM Dining is entirely self-funded and as such, receives no state funding. 


Q:  What happens to my Weekly Meal Plan Fund if I don’t spend it by the end of the week?
A:  All net revenues, including unused Weekly Meal Plan Funds, go into our capital project fund.  UM Dining is entirely self-funded, and our capital funds go toward the purchase of small and large equipment, facility maintenance and improvements, and development of new dining concepts and services.

Q: Will my Flex Dollars roll over from fall to spring and from one academic year to the next?

A: Flex Dollars are part of the meal plan for that semester and do not carry over from fall semester to spring semester, or from one academic year to the next. 
Q:  What happens if I run out of Flex Dollars?
A:  Once you have depleted your Flex Dollars, you may activate your Bear Bucks account for discounted entrance into the Food Zoo and additional discounts at other UM Dining venues.