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UBC Partners with UpMeals to Bring Students Healthy Meals from Refrigerated SmartVending Machines

upmeals food vending machine

SmartVending machines installed at Sauder School of Business and Irving K. Barber Learning Centre give students access to nutritious food options 24/7

Vancouver, BC, November 3, 2021 – Today, UpMeals, the healthy, fresh and sustainable vending machine solution, announced that it has partnered with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to install its SmartVending machines at the Vancouver campus. UpMeals’ individually-packaged breakfasts, entrees, snacks and juices will be available to students mid-November. The first machine will be installed in the main lobby of the Sauder School of Business Henry Angus building, and the second machine will be situated inside the cafe of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, an energetic hub for students looking for brain food. These meals will provide students with safely accessible, healthy, ready-to-eat meal options available 24/7 on campus.

The SmartVending install will service up to 10,000 students, faculty, and staff per day in each building, addressing a need for safe, convenient 24/7 access to healthy food choices on campus. UpMeals is working with the team at UBC to integrate the machines with UBC Student cards, which once active, will simplify a safe payment process for students. The installation will also help to reduce the increased trips made by meal delivery services to campus, ultimately reducing the burden on the environment.

“As students make the transition back to campus, we’re pleased to be able to offer UpMeals’ menu items so students and others can access healthy, affordable food options at all hours of the day,” said Drew Munro, Co-Founder and CEO of UpMeals. “There’s a science to how we structure our meals, using a lot of superfoods that will be hugely beneficial to students. Working closely with the team at UBC Food Services, the SmartVending machines will be equipped with meals and snacks crafted to keep students feeling energized, in a better mood, and help with improved memory. Not only that, the fact that these are nutritionally-complete meal options that are individually-packaged and prepared in a HACCP certified facility makes them a safe option.”

UpMeals is designing a rotating menu of meals and snacks for UBC Food Services that meet high standards for nutritional needs and culinary preferences. The meals offered in the SmartVending machines will rotate on a regular basis and will be reflective of ongoing data received through the app, incorporating local and seasonal ingredients. The initial meals included in the machines feature items like custom designed salads, grain bowls, wraps, entrees, energy bites, cold pressed juices and more. Any surplus of unsold food will be donated through UpMeals’ partnership with the Vancouver Food Runners, helping to eliminate food waste.

“We were looking for healthier alternatives for ready-to-eat takeout meals that could be purchased safely at any hour – the UpMeals SmartVending machines met and exceeded our expectations for what we could offer students,” said Colin Moore, Director of Food Services, Student Housing & Community Services at UBC. “A bonus is that ingredients are fresh, meals are sustainably packaged, and it’s a convenient option that reflects good health and well-being to promote academic success. Our staff and students lead busy lives, so we’re thrilled to offer them easily accessible, delicious meal options.”

UpMeals currently has installations planned at Simon Fraser University and GEC, Vancouver’s largest off-campus student housing. Check out other SmartVending locations.

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