Meal Plans

You'll have a better experience on this website using a secure, up-to-date browser. Click here for information and instructions about updating.

Dordt Dining Services' goal is to provide the best possible dining experience. That starts by selecting the meal plan that best suits you.

Dining Plans-Underclassmen

Students in residence halls (North Hall, East Hall, West Hall, and Covenant Hall) are required to purchase a meal plan from the college. Each student is automatically assigned the Value Meal Plan, which includes 21 meals per week plus 100 Defender Dollars. Students may opt out of that plan and instead choose the Reduced Meal Plan, which includes 15 meals per week plus 100 Defender Dollars.

Dining Plans-Juniors & Seniors

Juniors and Seniors will automatically receive 5 meals per week and 200 Defender Dollars. Juniors & Seniors may elect to purchase a Value Meal Plan (21 meals per week) or Reduced Meal Plan (15 meals per week).

Meal plans allow you to enjoy the convenience of on-campus dining and great benefits:

  • Guaranteed all-you-care-to-eat meals and the flexibility of grab-n-go items at the Defender Grille.
  • No worries about carrying cash.
  • Minutes from great tasting, healthy food and comfortable locations.
  • A great place to meet your friends or make new ones.

Dining Plans-Commuters

Commuters may purchase Defender Dollars (minimum to start $100) at the Business Office.

Eco To-Go Container Program

We know that students are busy and often must eat on the run. This need makes to-go dining very popular on our campus but also generates massive amounts of waste. Much of this waste is diverted from landfills by utilizing recyclable and compostable packaging but Eco-Ware aims to avoid the use of this packaging altogether by shifting from single-use to reusable containers.

How does eco-ware work in the Commons?

  • Let the cashier know that you would like to take food to go and present them with your cow tag, empty container, or purchase a container for $5. The cashier will give you a clean Eco-Ware container and a to-go hot or cold beverage cup when they swipe you into the dining hall.
  • Now fill the container with whatever you would like, from any station. Keep in mind that the container must close, but you can still choose to take a piece of hand fruit as well.
  • No need to stop back at the cashier stand, just exit and enjoy your meal.
  • When you're finished, empty the container and return it to the cashier or greeter at the Commons. They will take your dirty container and give you a cow tag.
  • Now the cycle repeats and you will reduce your environmental footprint by using your container again and again!

This program is available every day of the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Please note that you must leave with your meal.

Meal plan changes

If you want to change meal plans, go to your checklist on (student-access only). Meal plan changes in the fall can only be made seven business days in to the semester. Meal plan changes for the spring semester must be done prior to the beginning of the semester.

Defender Dollars

If you have a meal plan you will have Defender Dollars on your ID card that works as a debit card system. Defender Dollars cannot be exchanged for cash and do not carry over to the following semester. You can add more to your card by stopping by the Business Office to have money added (cash or check only). Defender dollars are accepted at all on campus dining locations.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a meal plan?

A Value or Reduced meal plan is required if you reside in any of the four traditional halls (North Hall, East Hall, West Hall, and Covenant Hall).

Meal plans allow you to enjoy the convenience of on-campus dining and the following great benefits:

  • Guaranteed all-you-care-to-eat meals and the flexibility of grab-n-go items
  • No worries about carrying cash
  • Minutes from great food and comfortable locations
  • A great place to meet your friends, or make new ones

What is a Weekly Meal Allowance? (Value or Reduced meal plans only)

Your meal plan allows you a set number of meals per week-15 or 21 meals/week. Your weekly meal allowance gives you the opportunity to enjoy all-you-care-to-eat dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Commons Dining Hall. Each time you eat in Commons Dining Hall, one meal is subtracted from your weekly meal allowance. You may also elect to eat at the Defender Grille by exchanging your meal for select meal options that are available. The meal exchange option is available between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for Lunch and between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. for Dinner - Monday through Friday.

What are Defender Dollars?

These are supplements to the weekly meal allowance and work like a bank debit card. Each time you make a purchase the total is subtracted from the balance in your account; you just need to specify Defender Dollars when paying.

Can I treat a friend by using two "meals" in a meal period?

You are the only person allowed to use your "meals" and you can only use one meal per meal period.

If you would like to treat a friend, you may pay for their meal using your Defender Dollars.