Meal Plan Money vs Food Funds - What's the difference?
No GST on Meal Plan Money
The Meal Plan Money account is tax exempt. The Food Funds account is taxable. This means when you buy meals using Meal Plan Money, you save the 5% GST; when you use your Food Funds to buy food, you pay the 5% GST.
To qualify for the tax exemption, the Meal Plan Money account must comply with rules of the Federal Excise Tax Act (ETA), which among other rules, limits purchases from mini-mart or convenience type stores, and the purchase of confectioneries (e.g., candies, chocolate bars).
Flexibility of Food Funds
Food Funds are taxable. This means you have greater flexibility on what you can buy with your Food Funds. For example, Food Funds can be used at the Corner Store to buy snacks or other grocery items. Also, some retail food locations, such as Starbucks, accept Food Funds but not Meal Plan Money.
If the food location accepts both
The system automatically debits the Meal Plan Money account first, making purchases GST exemption whenever possible. It also means your Food Funds are reserved for locations that only accept Food Funds
What should my balance be today?
You can figure it out by doing this simple calculation and knowing that there is a total of 224 days in your meal plan contract (from Sept. 2 to Dec. 20 and from Jan. 7 - April 30).
1. Determine the number of days remaining in your plan. E.g. 224 - what day it is in the meal plan life cycle (Oct. 1 is Day 30; Nov. 1 is Day 61; Dec. 1 is Day 91, etc.)
2. Divide the balance of your accounts (Meal Plan Money or Food Funds) by 224, then multiply that number by the amount of days you have remaining in your plan. That’s what you should have left as of today.
If you have money left at the end of the year
Money remaining in your Meal Plan Money account automatically rolls over to your Food Funds account for use in the next term. Or, you can elect to spend your balance by placing a bulk order with a cashier at the Dining Centre.
If you are leaving the university you can request a refund by contacting or visiting the Unicard Financial Office (Dining Centre 18).