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U of M to refund some student meal fees due to dining hall woes

An email sent out Tuesday says all students living in residence halls will be credited 50% of their September dining fees due to reduced hours and menu options.

MINNEAPOLIS — Refunds will soon be on the way for some University of Minnesota (U of M) students impacted by problems with on-campus food service and dining halls.

In a message to students, the U of M explained that due to staffing shortages that have impacted both hours of operation and menu options, all those living in residence halls will be credited with what amounts to 50% of their September meal fees. The period covered by the refund is Sept. 3 through Sept. 30.

Officials say performance of the dining operation will continue to be evaluated to determine if future credits are warranted. 

"The University and its dining vendor, M Food Co., continue to work diligently to resolve the staffing shortages that have resulted in reduced hours of operations and food availability," the email reads. "We hope to return to full capacity in the near future. Thank you for your continued patience."

A U of M spokesman tells KARE 11 if a student's account is paid in full, the dining credit will be sent out either by direct deposit to their specified bank account or via check. If there is money due on that student's account, the credit will be applied toward that balance.

A separate message notified students on the voluntary block plan and unlimited 5-day dining contract that they would also receive credits.

Suad Muhamed, a University of Minnesota freshman, welcomed the credit when she learned about it on Tuesday.

"I was really surprised they were going to do that," she said. "I appreciate the efforts."

However, she urged the school to fix the underlying problem.

"There's a lack of food options. Whatever we do get, is really repetitive, or it's really not that good... it got worse over time, to the point where I just don't eat there anymore," Muhamed said. "I'm being forced to pay for something that I don't even eat." 

Those with remaining questions are asked to email U of M food service

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