Your complete guide to free food at the University of Melbourne

free food photo

1. Through a club

The easiest way to get free food at uni is through clubs and societies. The mistake that most students make when it comes to clubs and societies is joining the clubs and groups they’re actually interested in. This, of course, is a rookie error and should be avoided at all costs. In order to decide which clubs, to join simply ask the representatives of said clubs two simple questions.

  1. Does the club have weekly events?
  2. Are these weekly events catered?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, you may proceed.

Clubs with weekly meetings, which provide free food include:

  • Cheese Club (one pizza/cheese event per week)
  • Juice Society (two “””juice parties””” per week)
  • Food Interest Group (free subway once every fortnight)

If you’re looking for something a little less pizza-y and a little more healthy, the Bhakti Yoga club also does $2 vegan meals on Wednesday if you’re a member.

2. Through a BBQ

It’s an oldy but a goody! The infamous uni BBQ.

UMSU Entertainment in collaboration with the UMSU Activities Department runs a free BBQ every Tuesday and Thursday of semester from 12pm-2pm in North Court. They both also include alcoholic beverages. On Tuesdays, you can listen to a band play while you eat your snag. In the past, some pretty cool acts have featured, including the Smith Street Band and Art vs. Science!

Between the Arts and Science Students Societies you can also find BBQ’s on South Lawn pretty much every Thursday of semester.

A word of warning however: there is a finite number of sausages you can eat before you will die.

My friend Angus swears he knows someone who got scurvy by only eating at the free BBQs around campus.

Please consume these as part of a balanced diet.

3. Through the UMSU Welfare Department

The UMSU Welfare Department runs a free breakfast every Thursday morning of semester. Just head to North Court from 8:30am – 10:30am for some bacon and eggs and pancakes!

They also have a free breakfast bar on all the other weekdays, at the Ida (level 1 of Union House). It’s a bit less exciting than their Thursday morning stuff, just cereal and toast, but still better than going to class on an empty stomach.

If you’re a student in need you can also pick up a basic assistance pack from the Info Desk in Union House, or arrange a hamper through the Welfare Office on level 1.

4. Through the Food Co-Op

‘Play With Your Food’ is fortnightly event that happen on Wednesdays at 5pm and is put on by the UMSU Enviro Department. Head down to the Food Co-op on level 1 to communally prepare and eat a delicious vegan meal.

Check out their Facebook event for more info.

5. Through Lunch with the Queer Bunch

Do you identify as queer? If so you’ve just scored yourself a free lunch every Wednesday of semester at 1pm on the UMSU Queer Department’s dollars. These happen in the Queer Space, which is on level 3 of Union House.

6. Through WordPlay

Word Play, an initiative of the UMSU Media Department is a series of open mic style events which celebrates the spoken word. They’re also a celebration of Pronto’s pizza and cheap wine. To find out when the next one is scheduled simply like Farrago Magazine’s FB page and subscribe to their events.

7. Through public lectures and events

Many public events put on by the University are catered. See a poster for an ‘academic debate’, for example? Chances are this debate will feature sandwiches, some grapes and sweet sweet orange juice. Stick around after most people have left and you’re often able to take the leftovers with you.


Now that you know where all the free food is on campus, go forth and eat to your heart’s content! Just try not to get scurvy from all those snags!

(Think we’ve missed something? Send us a message on Facebook or shoot us an email at!)

About the author

jacob profile.pngJacob Sacher is a Melbourne comedian and Unimelb Commerce student. His show at this year’s comedy festival Into the Abyss runs from 27 March – 8 April 2018 at Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne, Victoria. You can get discounted tickets with the code ‘unimelb’ if you book online here.


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