FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Dining Near Me

General Questions

There‘s always a campus dining location open between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. You can also take out at any of our retail operations, which offer "grab and go" items such as sandwiches, salads, and bakery items. All of the dining commons offer carryout options as well.

For a listing of food choices and hours, please visit our Residential Dining hours page.

You can also get up to date information via our app for iPhone and Android.

Food Allergies/ Special Diets

General Questions

Yes, Meatless and Vegan options are served daily in all five of the dining commons. Each all-you-care-to-eat area offers a vegan entree, soup, and varying side dishes for each meal.  Salad bars also offer vegan protiens such as tofu, beans, and quinoa. For more information, please visit the Vegetarianism page.

Yes, Penn State Campus Dining makes many accommodations for guests dining with food allergies. The online menu is a great resource for determining menu items and ingredients. Allergens found in menu items are indicated on the online menu as well as on entree cards at the point of service. The top eight allergens, of dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts (excluding coconut), soy, wheat/gluten and sesame, are represented by individual icons on entree cards if found within a menu item.

Additionally, Campus Dining is able to prepare allergen-friendly meals separately and store special food for campers upon request. For more information, please visit the Food Allergies and Intolerances page and contact the Registered Dietitians Office through [email protected].

Yes, numerous gluten-free options are available at each of the five dining commons locations. The online menu is a great resource for determining whether menu items align with a gluten-free diet. Allergens found in menu items are indicated on the online menu as well as on entree cards at the point of service. The top eight allergens, which includes gluten, are represented by individual icons on entree cards if found within a menu item.

Additionally, each dining commons offers a variety of supplemental, gluten-free items such as breads, pastas, cereals, snacks, and pizza. For more information, please visit the Gluten Free page and contact the Registered Dietitians Office through [email protected].

Every Campus Dining staff member receives annual food allergy training. Additionally, all management staff is certified in AllerTrain U, an ANSI accredited course on food allergy management.

Employees are instructed on proper hand hygiene, changing gloves after contacting certain foods, and using separate preparation areas and equipment to prevent cross-contact with foods containing allergens.

There are, however, many self-service locations across campus, which increases the risk of cross contact for menu items. Guests are encouraged to request food from a "back up" pan that has not been used in service or ask for a meal to be prepared separately by the chef. For more information, please visit the Food Allergies and Intolerances page.

Contact the Registered Dietitians office to review the dietary needs and learn more about on-campus dining options that fit with the dietary needs. A dietitian will help to outline menu options and other available resources for dining on campus, as well as coordinate a meeting with the appropriate Campus Dining team(s), which includes food service management, managing chefs, and executive chefs. To contact a registered dietitian, please call 814-863-3420 or email [email protected].

For more information on special dietary accommodations through Campus Dining, please see the Allergies and Nutrition page.

Meal Plans

General Questions

For a comparison of all three plans, click here.

If you plan to eat at least 14 meals every week in the dining commons, we recommend the Campus Meal Plan.

If you're going to eat fewer than 14 meals every week in the dining commons, or you plan to eat most of your meals elsewhere on campus, such as the HUB, we recommend LionCash+ or the Commuter Meal Plan.

LionCash+ provides the most flexibility. You can use it anywhere on campus, off campus at participating vendor locations, and funds carry over each year.

Funds for Campus Meal Plan or Commuter Meal Plan should be active when your student arrives to campus. Online transactions are made in real time, so as soon as you add dining dollars to your meal plan they are available. Any issues with id+ cards, please reach out to the id+ Office.

You can quickly and easily check your balance online. Anytime you make a purchase, the dollar value of your account balance appears on the register.

You can lower your Campus Meal Plan anytime during the semester - until the last day of final exams, by 12:00pm. It is important you check your fall meal plan balance in November and reduce your meal plan if you have a lot of leftover dining dollars. This will prevent having a lot of leftover dining dollars at the end of spring semester, which would be forfeited.

To purchase a Campus Meal Plan or Commuter Meal Plan, go to www.eliving.psu.edu.

To add funds to your LionCash+ account, go to www.idonline.psu.edu.

Add funds to your Campus Meal Plan and LionCash+ by visiting the id+ card website. If you have a Commuter Meal Plan, you cannot add additional funds. We suggest using LionCash+ in this case.

Yes. If you purchase a campus meal plan for the following semester, your account balance will carry over from summer session to the fall semester, and from fall semester to spring semester. Any dining dollars remaining at the end of spring semester are forfeited. For that reason, we recommend that you check your account balance on the id+ website in November and April to make any necessary adjustments to your meal plan.

You can adjust your meal plan online until the last day of final exams, by 12:00pm. Also, during summer session or fall semester, any extra dining dollars will carry over into the following semester providing you've purchased a meal plan for that semester. Check your account balance before the end of each semester to make any necessary adjustments to your meal plan.

Base cost: This is paid up front for the entire semester and covers non-food expenses to operate the dining commons, such as labor, utilities, equipment, and supplies.
Dining dollars: This is the amount that can be spent for purchases. Each time you make a purchase, funds will be deducted from your account and your balance is displayed on the register.

For more detailed information please reference the following article on Campus Meal Plans.

Menus

General Questions

Visit our menu website and click on the location you are interested in. This site lists the menu choices for the all-you-care-to-eat locations and the a la carte operations.

Sustainability

General Questions

It is an ecofriendly, reusable container to be used for to-go meals.

To enroll:

1. Pay a $5 deposit through your Campus Meal Plan or LionCash+ and get a Green2Go Box from the cashier.

2. Fill it up with food and go.

3. Keep the container until you want carryout again, or exchange the rinsed Green2Go Box for an easy to carry carabineer. The carabineer is your token for a new Green2Go Box when you want carryout in the future.

4. At the end of the semester, return your carabineer for a refund of $5.