UM-Flint focused on safety, flexibility with Food Service options

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Students walk through the first floor of the University Pavilion.

The University of Michigan-Flint has made changes to food service options this Fall semester to ensure the safety of students and provide greater flexibility in using their meal plans.

The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated change at university and colleges across the United States. At UM-Flint, most courses will be taught online during the Fall semester, meaning fewer people will be on campus. That also means Food Service will look different this year.

"Planning for food service for the Fall semester started with determining how many people were expected to be on campus each day of the fall semester and the number of people who have chosen to live on campus," said Gina Rose, Acting Director for Event & Building Services | Food Services | Printing Services.

Some on-campus vendors decided they would not be able to open during the fall with low on-campus attendance, she said.

Picasso Restaurant Group locations, which include Cafe Blue, Blue Bistro, and Picasso@UCEN, will not be open during the fall semester. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors can find food service options in the University Pavilion, such as Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Sportlite Grill, Shawerma Bite, and O'Blendz.

Vending machines will stay open throughout campus.

Food and beverages can only be consumed in three designated dining locations, University Center second floor, William S. White Building first floor, and University Pavilion first floor. Each dining area is marked by clear signs, will have limited seating, and require a 10-feet distance between people. 

For students living on campus, there is a Voucher Exchange Program for students to purchase vouchers for local vendors with their meal plan money, Rose said. UM-Flint also adjusted meal plans to offer only Maize Money for the Fall and Winter semesters to allow greater flexibility for students. Meal plans also have been reduced based on the number of days students will live on campus this semester.

Downtown Flint offers many food options, which UM-Flint Dining Services compiled into a list.

Picasso Restaurant Group is the University caterer, and campus community members can submit requests online. Catering is available in single-serve meals that staff will place on tables ahead of the event. Currently, indoor events are limited to 10 people and outdoor events are limited to 100 people.

"In order to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and our community, it will take each and every one of us to accept and live the Wolverines Care Pledge," Rose said.

Students from UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint partnered to develop this pledge, marking their shared commitment to take action to protect themselves, their families and communities.To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we pledge to:Respect others by staying home while sick and seeking medical attention if necessary;
Commit to wearing a face covering that covers the mouth, nose and chin while on campus;
Practice safe social, physical distancing from others whenever possible;
Be educated and adhere to the guidelines put forth by our university;
Maintain good hygiene; limit the touch of eyes, mouth, and face and wash hands frequently;
Check for symptoms before coming to campus.
We take this pledge today because:We want to protect ourselves, our families and our community;
We have it within our power to save lives;
We want others to experience our vibrant campuses sooner rather than later.
History will judge our contributions to ending this global pandemic, one of the major social challenges of our time. Together we can and will defeat COVID-19 and forge a better future for generations to come.For Me, For You, Go Safe, Go Blue

Students can contact Gina Rose with any questions at

To learn more information about the Fall semester at UM-Flint, view the Maize & Blueprint.

Lindsay Knake is the Communications Coordinator for the UM-Flint Division of Student Affairs. Contact her with any questions, comments, or ideas about the DSA newsletter, social media, events, and communications.