Lonnie Foland
JRNM 151 student

For many students, affordability is the first thing they look for when it comes to meals on campus. Starting at the beginning of the fall semester this year, food prices in Lorain County Community College’s Marketplace have been increased due to rising food and labor costs.

What is a low or no-income student supposed to do? They cannot rely on their student loans anymore as their disbursement has been changed to portions of two smaller checks. As a result of the recent hike in food prices and lack of specials offered on the menu, the average student on campus at LCCC has been severely impacted.

“I miss the lunch specials as they helped my budget and at home expenses,” said Deb Wood, a business management major. “With lunch specials, I knew I could eat a hot lunch every day at a reasonable cost, [but] I do however understand price hikes as everything goes up in price. I don’t understand no specials.”

“Since there are no more lunch specials, I do not go to the LCCC dining facilities as often,” Cassie Lauderdale, a police science major said. After you buy a sandwich, you cannot afford a drink. A price raise was inevitable, but no lunch specials [was] not.”

Although students have struggled with the resulting impact the increase in the majority of food prices on campus have caused, the changes made were done so with their best interests in mind.

“Just like in the grocery store, our purchase costs have risen over the past years. We have done our best to try to keep prices as low as we could for as long as we could,” said Eric Petrus, executive chef of Dining Services at LCCC. “The truth of the matter is that while some prices have gone up many prices went down as well. We developed new options over the summer that we felt were created with our students tastes in mind; we also did our best to keep them price friendly.”

The current price alterations in effect at the Marketplace were adjusted during this past summer, with the bulk of the changes made as part of the goal to better suit student’s busy schedules in between classes.

“Over the summer, when considering our price structure, we also wanted to present pricing that ended in quarter or whole dollar amounts to help speed up the lines at the register,” Petrus said. “This was done with the students’ time in mind. The less time students spend at the register the more time they have to eat and arrive to their next class as scheduled.”

The intent Dining Services strives for is creating affordable, fast and healthy food options available to students. With this in mind, Petrus said a slight decrease in certain food prices in the coming months will take place.

“One of our goals is to create a plan of special offerings that are sensitive to the pocketbooks of our guests. Now that we have the staff in order, and properly placed, [students should] expect to see a new marketing plan that will include discounts,” Petrus said.

 

 

Comparative Pricing:

McDonalds has 18 value items, 13 lunch and dinner items, two of which are $2, and five breakfast items. The combinations are endless. You can eat a complete meal for $5.

Dairy Queen has four complete meals for $5 that includes chicken tenders, and or a burger with side and dessert.

Steak n Shake has 19 meals under $4, drink not included.

Wendy’s has 18 items priced between 99 cents and $1.99, an endless combination choice of a complete meal.

Burger King has 12 items priced at $1 to $1.99, more combination choices for a complete meal.

Taco Bell has 11 choices for $1 and a happy hour menu for $1, which includes drinks.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has a value menu with 11 items ranging from 99 cents to $1.99.

Marc’s has 27 pre-made items for $2.99 or less. Choice are, sub sandwiches, flatbread sandwiches, wraps, six different salads, large and small. They also have six to ten different microwavable pre-made complete meals that include a meat or pasta entrée with a side of vegetables, potatoes, or pasta, a can of pop or juices for 50 cents.

LCCC’s College Center Market Place has one item for $1, seven items for $2 or less, and salad, pasta or stir-fry for 39 cents per ounce.