Besides struggling to pay for textbooks, transit fair and tuition, CCNY students find it hard to make healthy choices every day. Why? Because junk food costs less than the food being served in the NAC cafeteria.
So the last thing students need is to be forced to pay MORE for convenient food that is healthier than McDonald’s. But that’s what’s happened. As of March 4, prices have “increased slightly” in the NAC café. This is especially difficult to believe given that last year around this time the cafe was shut down for health violations.
Some students, like English major Jen Rodriguez, says she now prefers to pizza, or walking down the hill to get a meal at McDonald’s. “I know McDonald’s isn’t the healthiest meal, but when I look at my other options and my financial situation its more convenient,” she says. “I’m in school from 9 in the morning to 7:30 pm and I want something fast and cheap that’s going to keep me full until I get home, the healthy foods on campus may be beneficial for my health but I’m not going to pay 8 dollars for something that’s only going to keep me full for an hour.”
Many students feel the same. Though the NAC cafeteria has an abundance of options, especially the new healthier ones like salads, Vegan and Vegetarian dishes and sandwiches, students still go to the Halal food cart near Shepard hall or Subway because its in their price range. So why have the prices in the NAC increased? Kenneth Waldhof, CCNY Executive Director for the Business and Auxiliary Services, insists that price hikes are the norm. “Prices increase once per year to adjust for increased food costs,” he says. “Typically increases are minimal 2% – 3% with some items not increased at all and others slightly more depending on food cost increases.”
Is it fair that financially struggling students have to pay more money? Waldhof says that’s just business. But he gives students a good tip on how to save when buying from the NAC. “Food and beverages are something we all must purchase whether on or off campus or bring from home,” he says. You can also use the option to pay for food on campus using CityONECard Dining Dollars which saves them sales tax (9%) each time it’s used and also includes a 5% Bonus with deposits of $50 or more.
If you don’t like the price hike, send an email to [email protected] and let your voice be heard.