Learn More About Laker Food Co.

Student Costs

Meal Plans

  • Lower Meal Plan rates than other Michigan universities/colleges
  • 10 Meal Plan options ranging in price from $200 - $1,875/semester (‘20/’21)
  • Cost of contracted dining vs. becoming GVSU self-operated dining


Financial Assistance for Food

  • Food Funding via Financial Aid 
    • Students with financial hardships can request aid specific to food purchasing on campus
  • Student Employee meal benefit
    • In addition to hourly wages, Laker Food Co. student employees earn 1 meal for every 4 hours worked 
    • Learn more about student employee benefits
Meal plan comparison chart GVSU vs other schools

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

Registered Dietitian


Vegan & Vegetarian


Made without Gluten


Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA)

  • Collaborative, 3-year commitment with numerous GVSU departments  
  • Initiated in 2016 and met all requirements by program deadline
  • See PHA accomplishments
  • Nutrition programing, cooking demos, workshops and giveaways

Allergen Management

  • See the Quick Guide
  • View the Food Allergen Guide
  • Ingredient and nutritional information available at dining locations 
  • Online ingredient information (Fresh Food Center Plate & Green Plate) 
  • Allergen station available inside Kleiner Market and inside Fresh Food  
    • Self-serve allergen station stocked with specialty products 
    • Separate utensils, cutting boards, microwave, toaster, waffle iron (Fresh Food)
    • Individually packaged food products to reduce cross-contact 
Dietitian Mary putting a coleslaw mix into cups at the GVSU Farmers Market.
A student cutting up green apples.
Dietitian Mary with two students at a booth with Fresh Food Company signs on it

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
  • Email Laker Food Co. at [email protected]
  • Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
  • Social Media Polls
  • Fresh Food Co. Street Team
    • A group of student employees that educate GVSU students about Laker Food Co. initiatives.  
Three students taking a "awkward family photo."

The Street Team handing out candy at a GVSU event. 



  • 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
    • Watch the GVSU Farm to Table process 
  • Use of Cage-Free Eggs since 2011
  • Use of compostable serviceware including straws and bags since 2009
  • Made in Michigan product features 
    • Available at Lobby Shop in Kirkhof, POD Kleiner, POD Connection and Seidman Cafe on Pew Campus
    • Featuring products from: Cherry Bay Orchards, Gourmet Concessions, How Sweet It Is Fudge & Candy Co., The Gluten Free Bar, and Pop Daddy Popcorn
  • See the Sustainability Purchasing Map 


Campus Events & Support

  • GVSU Farmers Market
    • Host a stand and prepare lunch
    • Cooking demos and giveaways
  • GVSU Recyclemania partner (Now Race to Zero Waste) 
    • 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.
    • See current results 
  • Laker Food Co. Green Team
    • Student team focused on sustainability
    • Weigh the Waste, track compost success, educate peers in regard to waste sorting and ideation development
  • Strong working relationship with Facilities Services to manage waste streams



  • 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.

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
  • 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 with yellow vests cleaning up a highway.

Laker Food Co. staff pose for a photo during Adopt a Highway Cleanup in 2017.


Aramark Resources 

Page last modified August 15, 2022