Amina Ali

Beyond The Tray: A Pilot Study on UMRs Student Meal Plan

Affordable, well-balanced, and accessible meals play a pivotal role in supporting students' overall health, contributing to their academic success, and their overall welfare. By conducting a HiAP qualitative semi-structured pilot study on student interviews on UMRs Food and Dining policy, we can examine the accessibility and promotion of healthy eating habits among UMR students through these services.Using a semi-structured guided interview format, we conducted four interviews as a team, each ranging from 20-40 minutes. Participants were selected using convenience sampling. After audio recordings, the research team transcribed the interviews using Microsoft Excel's dictation software then coded the transcript using group preset and emergent codes. Findings suggest student participants would appreciate more autonomy, especially when food quality and trust is lacking. Pricing also seems to be too much for the amount of meal swipes they are able to get. Similar sentiments are shared throughout American colleges, indicating a system that needs to be looked at and improved. Better systems in food accessibility, whether it be getting to the dining hall or with more food options, students would like food autonomy to fix some of the issues with having a meal plan.