There’s two places to get food on the meal plan, and the rules are slightly different for either so let me drop some knowledge:
Student Center - open for lunch (11:30-1:30) and dinner (5-6:30). When you get food here, you have a set amount of money alotted to your card by the meal plan that you can use for food - at lunch, it’s $7.20, and at dinner, $9.25. You can spend more than that if you want, you just have to pay out of pocket (or using the points on your card). The Student Center has a full kitchen where food is made to order; a convenience store; and grab-n-go.
Dining Hall - open for breakfast (7:30-9(?)), lunch (11:30-1:30), and dinner (5-6:30). Plenty of food options, all you can eat at every meal. There are different entree choices every day which always include a meat, vegetarian, and vegan option (and, often, one or all are gluten-free). In addition to the main entree stuff, there is a salad bar, sandwich bar, pasta station, daily soup, ice cream, and drink machines (and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting).
So yeah! Hope that answers your question.
Field Work Term is our cooking class. It is when we master the art of ramen, peanut butter and jelly and easy mac. I’m joking, but I’m also not: Bennington doesn’t offer cooking classes, but there is nothing stopping you from using your FWT as a time to explore that interest, either in your own kitchen or working at a restaurant. Actually, I had a friend who did just that her freshman year. Extra-curricularly your hunger for food (is that a pun…I can’t tell) might be fulfilled through the student garden or Bennington Sustainable Food Project. The student’s in each tend to have a culinary flair.
We get a lot of questions on tour about how the food is here. It’s a great question and I don’t think people take me seriously enough when I say it’s phenomenal. Here’s a few selections from the dinner menu this week to give you an idea of how well we eat here:
Tuesday: (Indian night) Beef vindaloo, chickpea & spinach curry, Rajma Chawal (Red bean and rice curry), steamed baby carrots and cauliflower, basmati rice, naan bread, chocolate banana cake with vanilla frosting
Wednesday: Jamaican style jerk chicken, lemon-pepper tilapia, spiced sweet potatoes with honey, szechuan tofu squares and seasonal vegetables, coconut steamed jasmine rice, carrots and steamed broccoli, shortcake (blueberry, peach or strawberry)
Thursday: Gourmet burger bar with your favorite toppings, boca burgers with peppers & onions, baked mac&cheese, steamed kale, corn, steak fries, pina colada cake
Friday: Turkey meatloaf with caramelized onions, balsamic red lentils, vegan mushroom seitan roast, baked acorn squash with brown sugar, harvard beets, vegetable medley, pecan pie with whipped cream
…Yum. See you at dinner!
*not actually a d-hall grilled cheese but you get the idea.
Welp, pretty much every Friday (like… more than once a month, but less than once a week) the dining hall serves up some variety of gourmet grilled cheese as part of our lunch. Liam and I are partial to the tomato-and-pesto-on-rye, but Holly seems to gravitate towards the classic American-on-white. I just don’t get it. Anyway, grilled cheese day is for sure a hallowed Bennington tradition; likely to be sung of by the bards on high for years to come.
Hi! I am off the meal plan so I cook every day! All the houses have kitchens, some even have two kitchens. Each style of housing is different so I took pictures of all three styles. Regardless of house, you will have a fridge, a stove/oven and a microwave. Some houses have a lot of pots and pans and things like that and some barely have any, depending on who lives there and if the houses chooses to spend a portion of its house budget on kitchen supplies. Any ingredients you have to buy for yourself. If you are serious, I highly recommend having your own pot, pan, cutting board, sharp knife and pie pan as well as a set of cutlery and dishes. If you only want to make the occasional batch of brownies or pot of mac n’ cheese, you’ll probably be fine with what is provided.
Hope this helps!
I just found this catalog written called “Students on Bennington” that students in the seventies made for admissions. I was amazed to find this titillating piece by The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan of the class of 1977. What a crazy place this was.
George catered Coffee Hour last night, and, in typical fashion, really outdid himself. He served four kinds of cheese, bagels, Wheat-Thins, Triscuits, sardines, funny hors d’ourvres of tomato and cheese welded to saltines, tuna salad with far too many onions, and Almaden California Red Burgundy (an unfortunate staple at Dewey House).
All of the houses on campus have really strong communities, and the communities don’t function in the same way when those houses are not full. So Student Life accepts applications for upperclassmen to move off campus, considers them, and makes decisions based on their reasons for wanting to move, but also based on the size of the incoming freshmen class, to make sure that those house communities can remain strong.
Student Life also has to be careful to maintain a certain number of students on the meal plan so that Dining Services can adequately predict needs and prepare food. If the number of students on the meal plan fell below a certain amount, dining services would cease to be economically sound.
Comes with the territory of being a small school.
It should also be noted that dorms and food are pretty sweet as colleges go (not to mention the communities within the dorms, which you lose off campus), and the college is very campus-centric as far as events and stuff go, so I think the demand isn’t as high as it might be at other schools.
That is no problem. Doing a post on it now!
As for the grocery stores, there are three of note. Closest to school is the Hannaford. It’s less then a mile away. They have a very good organic section, and just about any food you’d ever need.
A little farther away is Price Chopper. They are known for there ability to chop prices, and for staying open 24/7.
Last but not least is Spice and Nice. This store is very small, but jam packed with fresh and organic groceries. A favorite of food conscious Bennington Students.