On-campus food prices are ripping students off

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
This summer, I had the opportunity to collaborate on a research project at McMaster University. The Friday afternoon before I left for Hamilton, I went to Einstein’s Café to grab lunch. I bought a sandwich and a bottle of iced tea. It cost me $9.

On my first day at McMaster, I went for lunch at a cafeteria in the building adjacent to where I was working. I bought a sandwich, which came with a side of pasta salad and a side of pre-cut vegetables, as well as a bottle of iced tea. It cost me $7.50. It was the definition of getting more for less!

Then, when I sat down to eat, I noticed a poster which indicated that this was an award-winning cafeteria: it had won an Eat Smart award from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

My point is simple: we are being overcharged for food at Western! And the problem is that it keeps getting worse. When I started at Western only two years ago, a sandwich cost $4 " it now costs $5, and a bottle of iced tea is now more than $2. But Western is in a nice position. The nearest off-campus eateries are at least a 15-minute walk away, and if you have only a small amount of time to spare for lunch, you simply don’t have time to make that journey. So you end up buying food on campus, no matter how ridiculously overpriced it may be.
"Jason Brown
PhD Biology

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