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Kent State to enable off-campus meal plan use

Andrew Hudson   ||   May 06, 2022  ||   ,

Kent State University will launch a new meal plan option that will enable first and second year students to make meal purchases at off-campus dining locations. The new meal plan option will enable students to use "downtown dining dollars" for use at participating area locations.

A Food Management report, the new meal plan option comes as part of Kent State's move to self-op dining after cutting ties with Aramark. Kent State University Dining Services will offer freshmen and sophomores the new meal plan that will enable them to swipe their campus credential, the FLASHcard, at select downtown restaurants starting this fall. 

Called the Flash 200 Block, the new Kent State meal plan option comes with $300 in declining balance, $100 in downtown dining dollars and 200 meal swipes, compared to current meal plans which offer unlimited swipes. 

According to a Kent Wired report, the university cut ties with its previous food-service provider Aramark, in favor of self-op instead. The new meal plan option seems another another step in the right direction for the university, following some difficult challenges during the transition period. 

Eliot Norris, the associate director of culinary services and campus executive chef at Kent State, says the new changes are necessary in order to ensure students get the most out of their meal plans.

Downtown Dining Dollars are automatically loaded onto student FLASHcards with the purchase of the Flash 200 Block Meal Plan. These funds can be used via the student ID card at participating restaurants around the city. Downtown Dining Dollars are non-refundable.

Downtown Dining Dollars can be used at the following retail dining locations around the Kent State community:

  • Applebee's
  • Belleria Pizza
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Burger King - South Water
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • Eddy's Deli & Restaurant
  • Eldorado's Pizza Pie
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries
  • Fresco Mexican Grill and Salsa Bar
  • Grazers
  • Hungry Howie's Pizza
  • Insomnia Cookies
  • Jimmy Johns
  • Mr. Hero
  • Old Carolina Barbecue
  • Paninis Bar & Grill
  • Penn Station
  • Pita Pit
  • Pulp Juice & Smoothie Bar
  • Raising Cane's
  • Starbucks
  • Subway

Kent State has also outlined on its card office website the process and guidelines for area merchants interested in accepting the student FLASHcard.

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