Free meal packs for students

The University is now offering two free food programs to support students. Find out how to register.

The two programs are:

Both programs are operating in accordance with current Victorian COVID-19 guidelines. If you are feeling unwell or displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, we ask that you do not register to pick up a Student Fresh Box or SecondBite meal until you have fully recovered. For more health and wellbeing information, visit our COVID-19 updates and advice page.

Program 1: Student Fresh Box

Students can now order and collect a Student Fresh Box containing 5kg of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. The produce selection is locally sourced from Australian producers and is enough to last a week.

Register your interest for a StudentFresh Box

When you register, you'll be asked to select an available day and time to collect a box. If you are allocated a box, you will be sent a confirmation email.

Once you have received the confirmation email you can collect the box from: Stop 1 Building, 757 Swanston Street, Parkville Campus. You must bring your student ID and confirmation email, and follow the COVID-safe protocols in place.

Students receiving their free meal packs.

Program 2: SecondBite frozen meals

To help support students, the University has partnered with SecondBite, a local not-for-profit organisation, 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.

The availability of vegan and vegetarian meals is unpredictable and limited. Stock availability can vary and there is no guarantee they will be available upon pick-up.

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

The meal pick-up location is: UniLodge Lincoln House, 125 Bouverie St, Carlton VIC 3053.

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 for SecondBite Meals

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, a bag).

Meal packs in their boxes.

Step 3. Arrive at the pick-up location on your allocated day as stated in your confirmation email. Please bring your student ID and the confirmation email 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 make sure to check-in via the QR code and maintain social distancing measures 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 updated 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.

    The pick-up location is:

    • 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 SecondBite, they are unable to arrange orders to meet dietary requirements and the supply of vegetarian and vegan meals is unpredictable and limited. Stock availability can vary and there is no guarantee they will be available upon pick-up.

  • 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 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

  • 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.

    Relief packages for those who are self-isolating: If you are required to self-isolate, the Victorian Government is offering relief packages.

    Free meals for international students from restaurants: If you are an international student, there are restaurants in Victoria that are offering free meals. You should call the restaurant directly or check the restaurant's social media channels before you go to collect free meals. The University is not affiliated with any of the restaurants listed.

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

  • How long will the free meals service run?

    The University of Melbourne’s free meal service has been extended to run until 23 September. The collective aim is to support our student community during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free and healthy meals to all students.