Learn More About Laker Food Co.

Student Costs

Meal Plans

  • Lower Meal Plan rates than other Michigan universities/colleges (see cost comparison chart)
  • 6 Meal Plan options ranging in price from $200 - $2,200/semester (‘24/’25)


Financial Assistance for Food

  • Food Funding via Financial Aid 
    • Students with financial hardships can request aid specific to food purchasing on campus
  • Student Employee benefits
Meal plan comparison chart GVSU vs other schools

Meal Plan price comparison chart GVSU vs. other Michigan universities 

Student Care

Laker Meal Share

  • Initially part of Swipe Out Hunger
  • Ability for students to donate meals to fellow Lakers
  • Learn more about the Laker Meal Share Program
  • Collaborative program with Dean of Students Office


Unused Portions

  • Unused Portions collaboration with Replenish, GVSU's student food pantry
  • Unused portions from catered events individually packaged and given to Replenish for distribution

GVSU Endowed Scholarships


Annual $10k Donation Fund

  • Supporting student organizations and departmental efforts

Nutrition / Health

True Balance
Farm Stand
True Balance Station

Registered Dietitian


Vegan & Vegetarian


Made without Gluten

Allergen Management

  • See the Quick Guide
  • View the Food Allergen Guide
  • Our daily menus are available on the Laker Food Co. website at Laker Food Co. - Hours & Menus.
  •  True Balance inside The Dish is an all-you-care-to-eat station that is allergen-friendly and does not have any of the top 9 allergens or gluten. This station has separate prep space, cooking equipment, dishwasher, and utensils to reduce the risk of cross-contact.
  • MyFresh Pantry is located inside Fresh Food in Upper Level Commons. This self-served allergen station is stocked with specialty products and equipment. 

Student Engagement

  • Voice of the Consumer (VOC) daily feedback system 
  • Food Committee
    • Open to all students, meets every 3 weeks during Fall and Winter semester
  • Annual Dining Styles Survey
    • Online survey open to the entire campus community (students, faculty, staff, administration)
  • Email Laker Food Co. at [email protected]
  • Social Media: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook
  • Laker Food Co. Street Team
    • A marketing minded group of student employees that educate GVSU students about Laker Food Co. initiatives, create social media content, host fun giveaways end events for fellow students, conduct satisfaction surveys of their peers and much more!  
Three students taking a "awkward family photo."

The Laker Food Co. Street Team handed out candy and cards to students on Valentines day. 

A student cutting up green apples.
Dietitian Mary putting a coleslaw mix into cups at the GVSU Farmers Market.
Dietitian Mary with two students at a booth with Fresh Food Company signs on it



  • Over 30% local spend
  • Use of local food distributor since 2014, Gordon Foods, headquartered in Grand Rapids
  • Use of local dairy since 2010, Cedar Crest Dairy in Hudsonville, MI
  • Partnership with GVSU's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) 
    • In 2008 Campus Dining donated $5,000 toward construction of the initial hoop houses at the SAP
    • Agreement to purchase produce from SAP since 2014
    • The SAP composts campus coffee grounds and utilizes LFC cardboard for garden beds
  • Use of Cage-Free Eggs since 2011
  • Addition of Coolfood Meals – menu items that are made with ingredients that have a lower environmental impact and a certified nutritional safeguard. 
  • Eliminating single-use plastics in front of house offerings, including straws, cutlery, napkins, stir-sticks, cups, and lids.  
  • Made in Michigan product features 
    • Available at Lobby Shop in Kirkhof, POD Kleiner, POD Connection and Seidman Cafe on Pew Campus


Campus Events & Support

  • GVSU Farm Stand
    • Host a stand and give out samples of fresh produce from the Sustainable Agriculture Project.  
    • Cooking demos and giveaways
  • GVSU Campus Race to Zero Waste Partner
    • The Zero Waste college competition focuses on waste reduction and zero waste efforts campus-wide and compares their results to other campuses. Participants track all sources of waste generation in three campus buildings during the eight-week competition.
    • 2024 Results - Campus Race To Zero Waste 
  • Laker Food Co. Sustainability Interns
    • Internship opportunity focused on food sustainability, waste education, and professional growth.  
    • Wipe Out Waste, track compost success, educate peers in regard to waste sorting and ideation development
  • Strong working relationship with Facilities Services to manage waste streams



  • A dedicated Sustainability Manager, focused on encouraging operations with the benefit of people and planet in mind
  • Laker Food Co. staff members recognized as “Sustainability Champions” by GVSU's Office of Sustainability
    • Colin Yonkers - 2019, Aaron Johnson - 2018, Raymond Kusmack - 2016, Darius Leverette - 2015, Ethan McCann - 2010
  • Green Restaurant Certification
    • Achieved at Engrained in 2014
    • Qualified for certification renewal every year since receiving the distinction
    • Increased certification audit score from 175 to 183.46 in 2019
This shows all the compostable materials

Some of the compostable service-ware that Laker Food Co. uses.

Sustainability Interns collect waste to show students how much food they are throwing away
Students plant tomato seeds for earth day
GVSU Reach Higher Showcase Presentation

Community Support

  • Student Organization Support
  • Participation in GVSU Relay for Life
    • 2007 – 2016 generating $90,100 over 10 years
  • GVSU's Largest On-Campus Student Employer
  • Food donations to Mel Trotter Ministries and Feeding America
  • Partnership with GVSU's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) 
    • In 2008 Campus Dining donated $5,000 toward construction of the initial hoop houses at the SAP
    • Agreement to purchase produce from SAP since 2014
    • The SAP composts campus coffee grounds and utilizes LFC cardboard for garden beds. 
    • Staff members participate in SAP volunteering 3 days each summer
  • Campus Dining staff members working as GVSU Adjunct Faculty in HTM, Movement Science and Recreation & Wellness
  • Support of the GR Veteran’s Home since 2017 with food donations, card writing promotions
  • Adopt a Highway (est. 2007)
  • Support of Kids Food Basket since 2017
    • Team outreach, purchasing/donating food, creating snack packs/dinner bags and decorating lunch bags
  • Participation in the Allendale Chamber of Commerce & Rotary Club
  • Participation in the Allendale Fourth of July Parades and Community Celebrations
  • Employee Service Projects - canned food drives benefitting Replenish & local food pantries
  • Food donations to support displaced Grand Rapids hospitality workers during COVID-19 pandemic
People volunteering on a farm.

Laker Food Co. staff volunteer at GVSU's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) June 2023

Page last modified May 8, 2024