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Residence Meal Plan

All students living in the Trinity College residences are required to purchase a meal plan. Trinity College Residence Meal Plans operate on a declining balance system, wherein your U of T student card (TCard) acts like a debit card and your starting balance is determined by the meal plan you choose. At every transaction, the total cost of your purchases is deducted from your account balance. Trinity College Residence Meal Plans will be composed of two amounts – BASE Dollars and FLEX Dollars.

  • The BASE Dollars are used for the majority of your on-campus food purchases, which are tax exempt (HST). When you pay with BASE Dollars, you will receive a 15% discount on the posted retail price. 
  • The FLEX Dollars are used for taxable snack and convenience grocery items (e.g. soda, chips, chocolate bars, gums, mints, candy).

Trinity College Residence Meal Plan options (2022-2023)

  LIGHT  TRADITIONAL  FREEDOM  PLUS
Meal Plan Cost:  $6,315 $6,870 $6,870 $7,275
Food Service Overhead:  $885 $885 $885 $885
BASE Dollars (Tax-Exempt):  $5,260 $5,650 $5,485 $4,845
Flex Dollars:  $170  $335 $500  $1,545

 

How does the meal plan work?

When it’s time to eat, all you need is your TCard. At Trinity, all food items are individually priced – just like at a restaurant. You only pay for what you order. Every time you choose a food item, the cashier swipes your TCard and the appropriate number of food dollars are deducted from your Residence Meal Plan. Depending on what you purchase, either BASE Dollars or FLEX Dollars will be deducted. BASE and FLEX dollars can be used at both Trinity’s two dining outlets: Strachan Hall and The Buttery. When you are paying with BASE Dollars, you will receive a 15% discount on the posted prices.

With the declining cash balance Residence Meal Plans, students choose only the menu items they want to eat and pay the individual price per item.  Each person pays for what they eat and light eaters do not subsidize meal plan costs for heavy eaters (which is a common problem with “all you care to eat” meal plans).

Bring your selected items to the register and display your student TCard to the cashier, who will then charge the total cost of your items against your available balance. You can view answers to frequently asked questions here.


Please note: It is up to you to keep track of the amount of meal plan dollars you have used. We have provided information below on how to check your meal plan balance as well as approximately how much meal plan dollars you should spend a month to be able to make it to the end of the academic year. 


Where can I use my Residence Meal Plan?

Your Trinity College Residence Meal Plan can be used at all Trinity College Food Service locations including Strachan Hall and The Buttery (when operating). The BASE Dollars and FLEX Dollars cannot be used at non-Trinity food service locations (e.g. U of T retail outlets).

STRACHAN HALL

Strachan Hall (6 Hoskin Avenue) serves as the largest of Trinity’s dining facilities. The menu consists of locally-sourced foods and produce as well as food made from scratch using wholesome ingredients and healthy proteins, such as fish and whole grains. From September to April, Strachan Hall is open all day, from breakfast through dinner, with a full meal service taking place at designated meal times. Between meals, students can access the servery for on-the-go items, snacks, whole or cut fruits, desserts, and assorted beverages.

THE BUTTERY

The Buttery is located on the main floor of the Gerald Larkin Building (15 Devonshire Place) and has a comfortable eating area and a cafeteria (servery).  The Buttery operates from September to April, and offers a wide variety of healthy and convenient food, snacks and beverages, along with a few of our community’s favourite offerings.

For more information about both dining outlets, check out the Dining at Trinity


How long should my meal plan last?

The amount of money you have to spend a day will depend on the Residence Meal Plan you select as well as how often you eat on the Trinity campus.

How much BASE and FLEX dollars do I have to spend a day on my meal plan?

How often do you plan to eat? Light
Meal Plan
Traditional
Meal Plan
Freedom
Meal Plan
Plus
Meal Plan
I eat on campus every day, including study breaks and the exam periods (219 days) $24.80 $27.33 $27.33 $29.18
I eat on campus only Monday to Friday (no weekends), including during study breaks and exam periods (163days) $33.31 $36.72 $36.72 $39.20
I eat on campus Monday to Friday (no weekends) and I do not plan to stay on campus during the study breaks or the exam periods (122 days) $44.50 $49.06 $49.06 $52.38

What should my meal plan (BASE and FLEX) balance be at the end of each month?

Month Light
Meal Plan
Traditional
Meal Plan
Freedom
Meal Plan
Plus
Meal Plan
October 1st  (Student will have 60% Base Dollars, 100% Flex Dollars loaded onto their card) $2657- $2480 $3725.00 $3053 – $2859 $4452 – $3457
November 1st (Student will have 60% Base Dollars, 100% Flex Dollars loaded onto their card) $1938 – $1590 $2195 – $1812 $2261 – $1878 $2818 – $2409
December 1st (Student will have 60% Base Dollars, 100% Flex Dollars loaded onto their card) $1194 – $834 $1375 – $978 $1441 – $1044 $1943 – $1519
January 1st (Student will have 100% Base and Flex Dollars) $2801 – $2670 $3088 – $2943 $3088 – $2943 $3297 – $3143
February 1st (Student will have 100% Base and Flex Dollars) $2207 – $1914 $2432 – $2109 $2432 – $2109 $2597 – $2252
March 1st (Student will have 100% Base and Flex Dollars) $1512 – $1246 $1667 – $1373 $1667 – $1373 $1780 – $1467
April 1st (Student will have 100% Base and Flex Dollars) $744 – $225 $821 – $245 $821 – $245 $875 – $262
April 30th (or end of term) $0 $0 $0 $0

How to check your balance?

You can check the balance of your Residence Meal Plan at any time. The balance of your meal plans will be printed at the bottom of your receipts. You are also able to ask a cashiers at the Trinity College Food Service locations at any time.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I select my Trinity Residence Meal Plan?

Deciding what meal plan is right for you depends on your personal eating habits, your appetite, and the amount of time you will be spending on campus.

Light: This plan works best for those who have an average to lighter appetite and includes $5,260 BASE Dollars plus $170 FLEX Dollars for the academic year.

Traditional: This plan works best for those who have an average to larger appetite and includes $5,650 BASE Dollars plus $335 FLEX Dollars for the academic year.

Freedom: This plan works best for those who have an average to larger appetite and want the increased flexibility FLEX Dollars offer. This plan includes $5,485 BASE Dollars plus $500 FLEX Dollars for the academic year.

Plus: This is our largest meal plan and works best for those who want a greater amount of FLEX Dollars. This plan includes $4,845 BASE Dollars plus $1,545 FLEX Dollars for the academic year.

Will my Residence Meal Plan last all year?

A number of factors influence how long your meal plan will last.  It all comes down to how much you spend per day and per week.  The Trinity College Residence Meal Plans are designed for a student with an “average” appetite in mind. Daily spending amounts can be found above.

How do I pay for my Trinity Residence Meal Plan?

The total cost of the selected Meal Plan is charged to your student account for your convenience. By agreeing to live in residence, you are accepting the purchase of the Trinity College Residence Meal Plan and are obligated to pay for your entire Residence Meal Plan.

Your Trinity College Residence Meal Plan will be loaded to your student account prior to your move in day in September. In the fall semester you will be charged and have loaded onto your account, 60% of your BASE dollars, 60% of the food service overhead fee, and 100% of your FLEX dollars. In the winter semester you will be charged and have loaded onto your account, 40% of your BASE dollars and 40% of the food service overhead fee. If you run out of funds in the fall semester, reach out to the Office of the Dean of Students and we can help you navigate this situation (deanofstudents@trinity.utoronto.ca).

What is 'Food Services Overhead'?

The $885 Food Services Overhead is an up-front charge, which supports a number of the fixed costs associated with delivering the residence meal program to all students, such as facility-related expenses and the administrative infrastructure supporting dining on campus. This fee is non-refundable, and is charged at the same rate across all Trinity College Residence Meal Plans.

The advantage of charging the Food Services Overhead fee up-front means that the price you will pay when you visit the dining hall will be considerably lower than the “retail price” that non-Residence Meal Plan diners will pay, since it will reflect only the product inputs and preparation costs associated with the item you are purchasing.

Can I change my Residence Meal Plan?

Students living in residence may upgrade their Trinity College Residence Meal Plan until October 31, 2022. Students may also choose to switch between the Traditional and Freedom Meal Plans; however, Residence Meal Plans cannot be decreased once selected.

For students entering Residence after the Residence Meal Plan selection deadline, a default of the Light plan will be added to their accounts. The October 31, 2022 deadline to increase meal plans will apply.

When can I use my Residence Meal Plan?

Your Residence Meal Plan can be used from the day you move in until the end of the academic year, at any Trinity College Food Service location during operating hours.

Can you accommodate students with specific dietary needs?

Trinity College’s dining outlets are not allergen-free facilities or kosher facilities. The Buttery and Strachan Hall are currently able to accommodate patrons who require a vegetarian or vegan diet, halal diet, and made without gluten diet. Trinity College may be able to accommodate patrons with food allergies depending on the type of allergy the patron has and the severity of that allergy. If you have questions about your dietary accommodation needs, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@trinity.utoronto.ca.

What if I forget to bring my TCard to pay for my items?

To purchase your food items using your meal plan, a TCard must be presented to the cashier at The Buttery or Strachan Hall. If you have lost your TCard and need help using your meal plan before you receive your replacement card, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@trinity.utoronto.ca) for an official meal plan letter to be used in lieu of your TCard for a limited period of time. Telling the cashier your student number is not sufficient for payment, and will not be accepted.

What do I do if I believe that I have been inaccurately charged for a food item?

If you are still in the Dining Hall, you can return to the cashier and let them know and a correction can be made then and there. If you have left the Dining Hall and are reporting the error at a later time, you can visit the Welcome Desk to ask for the situation to be addressed. You will be able to report the issue through the Food Services Feedback Form, which will ask you for the time and date of the issue, the food item purchased, and further details. A response will be sent your way within 5 business days.

How do I find out my meal plan balance?

The quickest way to find out your meal plan balance is to look on your receipt after purchasing something from the Buttery or Strachan Hall. This is an up-to-date record of your balance. Alternatively, you can contact the Office of the Dean of Students with your request. A response will be sent your way as soon as possible.

What do I do if I find the dining services are not providing the types of food I require?

Trinity College’s dining outlets are not allergen-free facilities or kosher facilities. The dining hall in Strachan Hall is currently able to accommodate patrons who require a vegetarian or vegan diet, halal diet, and made without gluten diet. Trinity College may be able to accommodate patrons with food allergies depending on the type of allergy the patron has and the severity of that allergy. The best next steps if you find that you are unable to find the types of food you require is to connect with our Director, Community Wellness, by emailing deanofstudents@trinity.utoronto.ca and to set up a meeting to discuss your needs.

If you are an incoming student, please watch your emails for information on how to share your dietary restrictions prior to the start of the school year. Engaging with our office as early as possible will help to ensure your needs are met consistently and from move-in onwards.

Can I use Trinity’s meal plan across campus at U of T?

No. Trinity College Meal Plans are usable at Trinity College dining services outlets: Strachan Hall and The Buttery. To load your TCard with funds that are usable at U of T food services outlets, visit the U of T Food Services website.

Where can I provide feedback for Trinity’s Dining Services or for Trinity’s Meal Plans?

We want to hear your feedback! Here are a few was to connect and provide feedback about food and/or your dining experiences:

Email the staff team: Reach out to the Office of the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@trinity.utoronto.ca) or Ramata Tarawally Trinity’s Director, Community Wellness (rtarawally@trinity.utoronto.ca).

Food Services Feedback Form: Fill out the short feedback form – Food Services Feedback Form

Connect with Trinity’s Student Food Ambassador, Richard: Email Richard at foodambassador@trinity.utoronto.ca or visit the Student Food Advisory Committee website.

Fill out the upcoming Food Survey: At the end of November all students will be invited to complete Trinity’s Food Survey. This is your opportunity to tell us your thoughts, comments and perspective on food. All the information collected in the Food Survey will be used to improve the current food offerings and inform changes for the upcoming academic year.

What if I use all of my BASE Dollars?

You can supplement your BASE Dollars by adding FLEX Dollars to your balance at any time during the academic year. FLEX Dollars can be purchased at the Welcome Desk located on the main floor of the Trinity College building (6 Hoskin Avenue).

What if I don’t use all of my BASE Dollars at the end of the academic year?

There are no refunds and no transfers of any unused portion of the Trinity College Residence Meal Plan to any other persons, meal plans, or academic sessions. Any unused BASE Dollars at the end of the academic year will be lost.

Is any part of my Residence Meal Plan refundable?

The BASE Dollar and FLEX Dollar balances are not refundable or transferable. The unused portion of your FLEX Dollar account will remain in your account for future purchases until the April 30, following your graduation. For example, if you graduate in June or November of 2022, your FLEX Dollars will remain active until April 30, 2023, after which they expire and cannot be used or refunded.

What if I move out of residence but I'm still at Trinity as a student?

Your Trinity College Residence Meal Plan will continue to work, and your tax-exempt status remains the same for the remainder of the term(s) you originally purchased the plan for. Any funds remaining in your BASE Dollar account at the end of the academic year will be lost. Your FLEX Dollars will remain in your account for future purchases. However, the tax exemption of the Residence Meal Plan applies only to the term(s) for which it was purchased.

What if I move out of residence prior to the end of the contracted term(s) and simultaneously leave the University?

A student who elects to withdraw from residence and elects to withdraw from Trinity College prior to the start of exams will receive a pro-rated refund of their remaining Residence Meal Plan balance.

What is tax exempt and what is not?

The Canada Revenue Agency allows qualifying Residence Meal Plans to be exempt from HST for most foods purchased on campus. Some items, including soda, chips, chocolate bars, gum, mints, candy and similar “snack foods” will have HST applied.  To protect the tax exempt status of your BASE Dollar Meal Plan, when making purchases that do not qualify for exemption, the value of the purchase, including the tax, is deducted from your FLEX Dollar balance.  If in doubt, ask the cashier.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Residence Meal Plans and dining at Trinity College are overseen by the Office of the Dean of Students. The Office of the Dean of Students should be students’ first point of contact for all questions or concerns about Food Services, meal plans and dietary accommodation needs. Please send inquiries to  deanofstudents@trinity.utoronto.ca.

Chartwells Canada is Trinity’s Food Service provider. The Chartwells’ team operate and manage all Trinity Food Service locations,