How the Co-op Food System Works

Foodservice for Room and Board House Residents

At our 17 room and board houses, all-you-can-eat food is included in your rent during the academic year.  You cannot opt out.  During the summer, you have a choice between houses with food and houses without food. 

Members prepare dinner for the house as part of their 5-hour a week workshift.  For other meals, the fully stocked pantry and commercial kitchen are available for you to use to make your own meals. The BSC purchases food in bulk to keep costs low, though members are also welcome to buy and make their own food.

Non-Resident Boarding and Meal Contracts temporarily suspended during pandemic

For those living in a Co-op apartment or house without food service, or for those not living in the BSC, meal contracts are available will be available at some point in the future. You can choose between 24/7 unlimited access or 5-night dinner plans. Boarding is a great way to learn more about the co-op, meet great people and become involved in the co-op community! Central-level boarders earn wait list priority (but do NOT earn co-op seniority points) after 70 days of boarding.

We own it, we run it
Coopers packing produce.

Every house elects a food or kitchen manager to be in charge of ordering the food. This person is a student and resident just like you. Most houses have a list where you can make food or dinner requests – if not, just tell the kitchen manager what your needs/desires are.

Kitchen Managers place orders to the BSC Central Food & Supplies (CFS), which then orders food in bulk directly from farmers and wholesalers. CFS also provides cleaning supplies, furniture, and supervises the BSC’s recycling and composting programs. Finally, CFS staff trains Kitchen and/or Food Managers in sanitation, food ordering, and food preparation.

Food is delivered to the Central Food & Supplies warehouse, from where members pack and deliver the food to each of the 17 room and board houses.  Each house sends a couple of its members to do their workshift at Central Food & Supplies. There are also member jobs such as managing the packing crew, slicing meat and cheese, or driving trucks that you can apply for to earn workshift rate an hour towards your rent.

Food deliveries begin the day before contract starts and continue to the last week of contract. Fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy are delivered 3 days week.  Bread is delivered twice a week. Nonperishables, frozen foods, coffee, and tea are delivered once a week. Once delivered to the house, food is stored and ready for you to use.  Some members have said that living in the Co-ops is like living inside a supermarket.

Each house has a stainless steel commercial kitchen where you can make food at any time. Your Kitchen Manager can show you where to find everything, how to use the kitchen gadgets, and how to clean up. In addition, each house also assigns some of its pooled workshift labor to preparing meals for the entire house. Most houses choose to prepare nightly dinners for all members. Larger houses tend to cook meals more often, either adding a brunch on a weekend day or breakfast and/or lunch during the week. Leftovers are stored in a common refrigerator.

We cook it, we clean it up

In addition to cook shifts, houses also have cleaning shifts before and after meals. Dishrooms and cleaning supplies are also available for members making snacks or  cooking for themselves to wash and sanitize their pots and utensils.

Personal Food
Coopers cooking together.

The Co-op provides all the food you need for all your meals and snacks. If you buy your own food, houses will typically have a Personal Fridge where you can store it. You can also keep your own mini-fridge in your room. The BSC charges a fee of around $16 a semester to cover the cost of electricity. Members with diabetes, or other health needs that require access to food in bedrooms, are exempt from the fee.