Hungry as a Bear: Brown’s Freshman Meal Plans


Hello!  I’m Amy Winkler, a freshman concentrating in Computer Science, and I’ll be writing about two of my favorite things,  food and Brown,  for Hungry as a Bear. In this column, I’ll share all of the food related advice I have for enjoying Brown’s cuisine and getting the most out of your meal plan. 

Hello and thanks for reading! For my first column, I’m going to describe the two meal plans that most Brown freshmen are on. In later columns, I’ll go into all of the different places you can eat on campus and what kind of food you can get at each, but for now I want to describe one of the first choices you’ll have as a Brown student. Freshmen are usually on the Flex 460 or 20 meals a week plan. There are also Halal and Kosher meal plans options, should you want that. I personally am on the Flex 460 plan, but both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Flex 460 gives you a mix of meal credits and points. Points are basically dollars in your meal plan account that you can use at many food locations on campus, like Andrew’s Commons, The Blue Room, and Jo’s. You get 500 of them for the year with this plan. The Flex 460 plan is more flexible (hence the name) because you don’t have to use meal credits all of the time. Some disadvantages of Flex 460 are that you get fewer meal credits, and therefore less overall food and you have to make sure you don’t use too many meal credits and points early in the semester.  I chose this plan because I never wake up early enough for breakfast (my roommate can attest to this), so I would rather have the points to grab a snack later in the day.

The 20 meals a week plan is relatively simple, you get 20 meal credits per week and can use up to 3 per day. At the end of the week, your meal credits expire so if you don’t use them, you lose them. The 20 meals a week plan gives you more food than Flex 460. Some of the disadvantages of this plan are that you have fewer points to spend and that if you’re off campus for a couple of days you lose the meal credits that you don’t use. People choose to be on this plan for different reasons. A lot of athletes are on this plan because they can get more food before practice. I also have friends who are on it because it’s a little bit easier to use. No matter what plan you choose, you’ll definitely have plenty to eat.

If you have any questions or comments about eating at Brown or anything else, send me an email at I would love to hear from you!


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