Main entrance in the Dining Center. (image credit: Devin Pouliot)

Recently, there have been rumors spreading that the price of items at the dining center have increased. With exponentially decreasing dining dollars and increasing concern among students, the rumors appeared true.

“They charge us tax on top of the already high prices they’re charging us for food,” one student said in response.

However, the rumors have been found to be untrue. In general, the prices of items at the dining center have remained the same. Prices have been increased only for a select few items.

“The cost of the items coming into the dining center have increased,” Dan Vanavery, general manager of dining services at SNHU, said in a recent interview. “Some things have gone up, some have not, but it’s all because the commodities themselves have increased.”

What Vanavery means about commodities are items such as produce, beef and sustainable efforts, the new straw-less system and silverware. These costs and other factors, such as the cost of labor, are factored into the pricing of the dining center. This semester has seen the increased price of Coca-Cola, beef and some coffee products due to the rising cost for these items and sustainable efforts.

According to, the price of beef per kilogram in October of 2018 was $3.86. In August of 2019, the price of beef per kilogram was $4.60, increased to $4.65 in September of 2019, and is continuing to rise.

Vanavery stressed that increased prices were not a “profit grab” and are a response to market prices. “[Sodexo is] a margins business,” he said. “We need to make sure we are costing things to a percentage that allows us to be financially stable.”

In response to this, the dining center has searched for new options to decrease costs. The new express menus at the Mill City Grill is one solution that cuts down on wait times while providing a more affordable option for students. Vanavery also stated that the dining center makes their own pizza dough and soups to cut down on costs and provide better quality food.

Regarding the tax on food, students, faculty and staff are tax exempt. New Hampshire places a tax on food and the tax appears on the register. The tax must be shown for when a non-student, faculty or staff member buys food at the dining center but is exempt when students swipe their ID cards.

“We try to make sure we’re passing on savings wherever we can,” Vanavery said.

Anyone who wishes to learn more or has any questions is encouraged to fill out comment cards. They can be found next to the elevator and are responded to regularly.