Free meal packs for students

The University is offering free meal packs to support students. Find out more about how to register for free meal packs.

Due to the latest Victorian Government Stage 4 restrictions, please note you may not be permitted to travel further than 5km from your home for the purposes of collecting these free meals. If you live outside the 5km radius from the meal pick-up locations, please review the DHHS website and DHHS guidelines for further details regarding exemptions and if you qualify.

In accordance with the recent restrictions in Victoria, the free meal packs program will continue to operate under the current restrictions. Although this program continues to operate, you must use your own judgement to determine whether it is safe to travel and pick up meals.

If you are confirmed to pick up meals, you must bring your student ID, confirmation email and the meal pick-up verification letter (which will be attached to your confirmation email). The meal pick-up verification letter is there to provide context of your travel in case you are stopped by the police. Due to the fast-changing nature of COVID-19, police will use their discretion to determine whether it is safe for you to travel to Parkville. Should you incur any penalties, the University cannot appeal on your behalf. If the police ask you to return home, please follow their advice.

Please note, if you are feeling unwell or display any of the COVID-19 symptoms, we ask that you do not register to pick up a meal until you have recovered fully. For more health and wellbeing information, visit the COVID-19 updates and advice page.

Students receiving their free meal packs.

About the program

To help support students, the University has partnered with SecondBite and Lentil As Anything, both local not-for-profit organisations, to provide healthy and free meals to students.

The frozen meals prepared by SecondBite come in 1kg packs, and each pack provides up to 3-4 standard servings (4 x 250g). Meals are prepared based on the ingredients available to SecondBite and there is no set menu or option to order specific meals. SecondBite are unable to arrange orders to meet dietary requirements and the supply of vegetarian meals is unpredictable and limited. The meals prepared by Lentil As Anything are vegan and there is a limited supply available each week.

The meal packs will be available for you to pick up at an allocated day at a location close to the University of Melbourne (Parkville campus).

The locations that you can pick up meal packs from are:

  • Lisa Bellear House, 303 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052
  • UniLodge Lincoln House, 125 Bouverie St, Carlton VIC 3053
Meal packs in their boxes.

How does it work?

Step 1. Register your interest in receiving free meal packs via the button below. You will be asked to fill out a form and select all of the preferred days that you will be able to collect your free meal packs on.

Register your interest

Step 2. You will soon receive a confirmation email to your student email account once you have been allocated to receive free meal packs. This email will have all the information you need to know about your pick up such as when it is, where it is and what to bring (eg student ID, meal pick-up verification letter, a bag).

Step 3. Arrive at the pick-up location on your allocated day as stated in your confirmation email. Please bring your student ID, confirmation email and the meal pick-up verification letter with you. Due to social distancing measures, we are allocating students to specific pick-up days.

Step 4. Follow the instructions from the volunteers at the pick-up location. They will scan your student ID card. Please note that social distancing measures will be arranged and maintained during the pick-up process for safety.

Step 5. You will be able to collect the number of meal packs you need.

Step 6. Enjoy your meals!

Frequently asked questions

  • Do I need to be a current student to register my interest for free meal packs?

    Yes, only current University of Melbourne students are eligible to receive free meal packs.

  • If I need weekly meal packs, do I need to register my interest each week or do I only register my interest once?

    Please note that by registering your interest via the form, you will be considered for ongoing meal pick-ups after your initial meal. This will depend on meal availability that is subject to change weekly, and therefore not guaranteed. There will be an option to opt-out of this and this will be outlined in your confirmation email.

  • How will I know when and where to pick up my meal packs?

    When registering your interest, you will select the days you are available to pick up the meals packs and your preferred pick-up location. The location options are:

    • Lisa Bellear House, 303 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052
    • UniLodge Lincoln House, 125 Bouverie St, Carlton VIC 3053

    After registering interest, you will receive a confirmation email to your student email account with details of when and where you will be picking up your meal packs.

  • I have dietary requirements. Can these be catered for?

    Unfortunately, due to the meals being prepared based on the ingredients available to both SecondBite and Lentil As Anything, they are unable to arrange orders to meet dietary requirements and the supply of vegetarian and vegan meals is unpredictable and limited.

  • Is there a maximum number of meal packs I can take?

    No, you will be able to take the number of meal packs you need, subject to availability.

  • How do I know what meal packs I will be getting?

    You won't know this until you arrive at the pick-up location. Meals are prepared based on the ingredients available to the SecondBite and Lentil As Anything preparation team, and there is no set menu or option to order specific meals.

    In the past, some of the meal packs that have been given include:

    • Chicken burritos
    • Korean chicken
    • Italian meatballs.
  • Will social distancing measures be in place at the pick-up location?

    Yes, social distancing measures will be arranged and maintained during the pick-up process for safety.

  • Is there someone I can contact about the program?

    If you no longer wish to receive free meal packs or have another question about the program, please email peer-leaders@unimelb.edu.au

  • Due to the recent restrictions, how do I access a letter to show why I'm leaving my home to collect a meal pack?

    If you are confirmed by the University to collect free meal packs, you will receive an email with details regarding a collection day, time and location. A meal pick-up verification letter will be included in this email as an attachment. Please ensure you bring both your confirmation email and meal pick-up verification letter on the day you pick up meal packs in case you are stopped by the police.

    Please note this letter is not a guarantee of travel authorisation and due to the fast-changing nature of COVID-19, police will use their discretion to determine whether it is safe for you to travel to Parkville. Should you incur any penalties, the University cannot appeal on your behalf. If the police ask you to return home, please follow their advice.

  • Where else can I access free meals or a similar service closer to my home?

    If you cannot access Parkville easily or you do not wish to travel to pick up a meal through the University’s free meal packs program, there are some alternative food relief and community support programs.

    Please note, the University is not affiliated with any of the below listed programs and they may be operating differently and on limited supply due to COVID-19. Before accessing support (such as meals), please contact the program or service directly to make sure you are able and eligible to receive support.

    If you are required to self-isolate, the Victorian Government is offering relief packages.

    If you would like to find out more about the support services available for you at the University, see COVID-19: student advice and support.

Register your interest

To register your interest in receiving free meal packs, you must click the below button and fill out the form.

Register your interest

After filling out the form, you will soon receive a confirmation email to your student email with further details on picking up the meal packs.