Stanford Dining COVID-19 Update

Neighborhood Dining             Dining Hall Access             Food Pantry



Will we be able to use dining halls outside our neighborhoods?

Yes! Your meal plan will work in any dining hall.

Does R&DE Stanford Dining accommodate students with special dietary needs (e.g., food allergies, religious requirements, etc.) on the Row, Suites & Co-Op meal plans?

The Row, Suites and Co-Ops can accommodate a wide range of dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. Students with severe food allergies or religious dietary needs should reach out to prior to arriving on campus to discuss how these needs can be accommodated. These students may be eligible for prioritized housing in neighborhoods that provide dining options that best meet these needs. R&DE Stanford Dining provides support to students with special dietary needs through the Eat Well @Stanford program. Our nutritionists are available by emailing or scheduling a virtual consultation to speak with students about their dietary needs and offer guidance on dining in the neighborhoods. 

Can I get a meal plan exemption?

Students are encouraged to first work with R&DE Stanford Dining’s nutritionists to determine whether their dietary needs can be met on their meal plan. Students may request an exemption if there are concerns about meeting medical or religious dietary requirements. Exemptions are granted only for serious medical issues/disabilities or religious reasons. 

The Office of Accessible Education or Office for Religious Life will submit an exemption request on your behalf to R&DE Stanford Dining for approval. There will be an administrative overhead fee associated with such an exemption. Please verify your eligibility for an exemption prior to applying for a residence. Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Office of Accessible Education (for medical exemptions) or Office for Religious Life (for religious exemptions).

How do these meal plans align with the core principles of ResX?

These meal plans are aligned with the core principles of ResX to advance diversity, equity & inclusion; to promote opportunities for community & belonging; and to support student health and well-being. The enhanced flexibility of the new Row and Suites meal plan provides better access to meals and addresses concerns of food insecurity for students especially during academic breaks and weekends. The new meal plans also ensure equity of meal plan cost for students living in all undergraduate residences. 

How does the new meal program support the development of communities within residences and across the neighborhood?

Students will have greater flexibility given the option to dine within the neighborhood or across campus. Stanford strongly believes in community building over meals and this new program allows students the ease and flexibility to have these important connections and discussions while dining together. It is clear in hearing from students, and looking at peer institutions, that conversations over meals form the center of our communities and neighborhoods. Students break bread together, engage in intellectual and lively discussions over their meals with each other, faculty, and members of the Stanford community. This is an essential part of the Stanford residential education experience.

Row, Coop and Suites Dining

Will student dining on the Row be different in the neighborhood model?

There are great new options for students! Students will now be paying the same meal plan cost if they live in an RF residence (dining hall), Row self-op house or the Suites. This is a substantial reduction in meal plan costs for the Row self-ops and Suites. Also, students living in a Row self-op house or the Suites will be able to use up to five meal swipes per week and five guest meals per quarter in a dining hall to be able to eat with friends across the neighborhood or campus at no additional cost. 

Will SOS continue to support Row Houses?

Yes! SOS (Student Organized Services) and its staff will continue to support the self-op Row houses.

Will GCDS continue to support the Suites?

The university will assume management of the Suites meal program. This will allow students living in the Suites to have a meal plan -- with significantly reduced cost -- dining hall meal swipes and guest meals, the ability to eat with friends across the neighborhoods and to participate in special neighborhood dining hall dinners or stop by a dining hall when it is convenient to do so.




Who may pick up meals in the dining halls?

In response to COVID-19 preventive measures, dining halls will only be accessible to undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs with an active meal plan. 

Can spouses/partners of student pick up meals in dining halls?

Spouses/partners of students must obtain their own courtesy card from Campus Card Services. Use of a Stanford ID card by anyone other than the person to whom the card is assigned is prohibited. Questions can be sent to

What is required to enter the dining halls?

The university policy for dining hall access has changed. Effective February 1, students must have a valid, green Stanford Health Check onsite access badge and a temperature below 100.4° Fahrenheit to enter the serving area. They are also required to wear a proper face covering and maintain six feet of separation from others.

  • If a student’s temperature is above 100.4° Fahrenheit, the student will wait a few minutes to retake their temperature. Students will wait in a designated waiting area, remaining six feet from others. Once the student has cleared the temperature check they will use the contactless check-in process for meal swiping into a dining hall. 
  • If a student’s temperature is still above 100.4° Fahrenheit, food will be brought to them by a supervisor. The student will not enter the food pickup area. Students with elevated temperature of 100.4° F and above will be advised to seek medical assistance at Vaden Health Center. 
  • If a student does not have a valid, green Stanford Health Check onsite access badge, food will be brought to them by a supervisor. These will be pre-packaged meals and students will have fewer choices, as they will not be allowed to enter the dining hall serving area. Options will still be available for students with special dietary requirements. (Note: Spouses and partners of grad students/post docs are required to show the Dining staff their courtesy card in place of a “green badge” for access to the dining hall servery.)

Once students have swiped their meal card, they wash their hands thoroughly at the hand washing stations at the entrance to the food pickup area. Dining staff will provide guidance to students on how to stay within safe distances of others when in the dining hall. Protective glass shields or plexiglass at counters or closer contact spaces are in place to create a physical barrier between students and staff. More information on student safety in the dining halls can be found in the CleanDining plan, beginning on page 39.

Is indoor dining available?

R&DE Stanford Dining is delighted to announce the re-opening of indoor seating in the dining rooms!  With careful guidance from EH&S, we are now able to begin limited reservable indoor seating, which will continue to maintain a safe dining hall environment for students. Along with this exciting news, we have created an on-line Dining Hall Table Reservation System for students to reserve a table for up to six students in their household(s).  
The indoor table reservation program is available for the following dining halls:

  • Arrillaga Family Dining Commons (AFDC)
  • Lakeside Dining
  • Stern Dining
  • Wilbur Dining

Process for reserving an indoor dining hall table:

  • Go to the Dining Table Reservation webpage at:
  • Select the date, meal period and dining hall.
  • Select from a list of available reservation times.
  • Select the number of students who will be joining this reservation. Note: The maximum number students per table is six (6) and they must be from the same household or from up to three households by County order and university policy.
  • The student making the reservation receives a confirmation email with the assigned table number. (If needed, students can log back into the reservation system to cancel or modify their reservation.)
  • Students can verify their reserved table number from the checker when they arrive in the dining hall.
  • Students then follow the current CleanDining procedures to enter the servery and select their food and beverage options. When students have finished selecting them, they are able go to their reserved table.
  • At the end of the reservation time period, students leave the table to allow dining hall staff the appropriate amount of time to sanitize the table for the next reservation.
  • Students without a reservation will be able to sit at an open table on a first come, first serve basis but first must check with a manager to determine if a table is already reserved or available for open seating.

 For more detailed information on indoor seating and other COVID dining hall policies and procedures, please refer to the R&DE Stanford Dining CleanDining program.

If I receive an exemption to remain on campus, do I have to have a meal plan?

Meal plans are required for all undergraduate students except those living in Mirrielees or those who were originally assigned to graduate housing during fall or winter quarter.




Will the food pantry pop-up continue?

The monthly food program for students who need additional food support will continue. Visit the website for the next scheduled distribution and to register.