MealBux, ScholarDollars available to OSU students in need

MealBux food insecurity

Teresita Guzman Nader, News Contributor

Clarification: We initially published this story without including a source’s full last name on every reference. This has been updated.

Many students struggle with food insecurity, but not all students know where to find food resources.

MealBux is a program for fee-paying OSU students on the Corvallis campus to combat food insecurity. The MealBux application opens Monday of week zero at 8 a.m. and closes on Friday of week one at 5 p.m. 

According to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Human Services Resource Center website, students who are awarded MealBux will get a confirmation email. The program will give eligible students OrangeCash that they can use in places such as the MU and the Cascadia Market. 

“There are several things that determine if a student gets MealBux or not,” said Angel Mandujano-Guevara, Graduate Assistant of the Human Services Resource Center. “They have to be a fee-paying OSU student here on the Corvallis campus. We then work with the Office of Financial Aid to determine more information about the student’s financial need.”

From there, HSRC staff work to process applications and determine award amounts. The award amounts are deposited as OrangeCash into the student’s account. In order to use this cash the students need to use their Student ID to pay. 

“On average those students who are selected receive about $80 each,” Mandujano-Guevara said. “The amount changes depending on the number of applicants, applicant financial need and available funds.” If a student was awarded funds one term and has leftover funds, the student can save the OrangeCash on their account to use it the next term. According to the Finance and Administration website, OrangeCash only expires if a student stops attending OSU.

The OrangeCash that Mealbux provides for students in need can be used in places such as Panda Express and all MU Retail Food Services as well as any University Housing and Dining Services locations. 

“The only places you can’t use the service are places like the Dutch Bros on campus and The Beaver Store,” Mandujano-Guevara said. “Other than that, most places accept it, and they’ll have a sign that says they take Orange Cash.”

According to Mandujano-Guevara, MealBux helped 841 students in fall 2018, 930 students in winter 2019 and 914 students in spring 2019. 

ScholarDollars is an online scholarship search and application portal that OSU has designed to make it easier for OSU students to apply for scholarships and get the help they need. According to the ScholarDollars website, there are about 1,600 OSU scholarship opportunities and nearly $50 million in awards available. 

ScholarDollars will begin accepting applications for 2020-21 scholarship awards on Nov. 1. According to the OSU Scholarship Office, the deadlines for scholarship opportunities vary. It is recommended that all students submit an application no later than Feb. 1 to maximize the number of scholarships for which they will be considered. 

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