Ayelette Halbfinger, "Expansion of Kosher Food Availability and Accessibility on UMD College Park Campus"
Currently, kosher food is only available to students who opt to use the Maryland Hillel dining plan instead of their university dining plan. The meal plan, although more expensive than the university’s, is only open for a few hours a day and doesn’t offer three full meals every day of the week. The current system also prevents kosher-observant students from eating in the dining halls with their friends from classes, co-curricular activities, and living and learning programs who are not also on the Maryland Hillel meal plan. This project is the first step toward expanding kosher food availability and accessibility to students on campus. After months of coordination with Maryland Hillel and Maryland Dining Services, a pilot program was executed as the first step toward integrating the meal plans in future years. This pilot program was designed to test the time constraint and communal restrictions that students on the Hillel meal plan face. It enabled students to pick up kosher food from South Campus Diner 7am—9pm beginning April 2021 for the duration of the academic year. Plans for future pilot programs open to any student are in development for Fall 2021. These programs will include a voucher system which will enable students not registered for meal plans to pick up kosher food from university dining halls as well as the Hillel meal plan students. The pilots will also be available at both South and North campus dining halls.