UpMeals, the healthy, fresh and sustainable vending machine solution, has announced that it has partnered with Simon Fraser University (SFU) to install a SmartVending machine at the Burnaby campus this fall. The machine will provide 24/7 access to healthy, sustainable meal options for students and an alternative to costly meal delivery services and restaurants in the area.

SFU will install their first UpMeals SmartVending machine at one of the busiest and most accessible locations on the Burnaby campus, with plans for more machines in the future. The installation will coincide with the move back to in-person classes and services on campus.

The UpMeals SmartVending install addresses a critical need to provide safe, accessible, healthy food options for students available around the clock. Accessible 24/7, UpMeals provides a nutritious choice when other options are unavailable or closed. And, with meal delivery services making many trips to SFU campuses daily, sometimes delivering as little as a single item carrying a hefty carbon footprint, the UpMeals SmartVending machines will alleviate some of the environmental impacts.

SFU will be donating their surplus of unsold food through UpMeals’ partnership with the Vancouver Food Runners program to help eliminate food waste.

The menu offerings provided in the SmartVending machines will be curated based on a focused survey provided to groups of students identifying the types of cuisine they would like to see, and the goals and benefits they want to achieve with the food available to them. Details of the survey will include dietary and cuisine preferences and eating habits. SFU will then be able to monitor the popularity of certain items and identify buying trends to optimize its menu offering.

To support this expansion, UpMeals has acquired Grubgrab, a digital meal subscription service geared toward post-secondary students. Grubgrab had previously engaged UpMeals to support centralizing their food sourcing under the Grubgrab brand. The COVID-19 pandemic forced them to pivot their business model to make access points safe, facilitating the acquisition by UpMeals. Grubgrab co-founders Rohan Siyal and Jovan Choongh, are recent post-secondary graduates and will support integrating UpMeals with student initiative programs, hosting various events and integrating UpMeals solutions into the culture of the university.

We‘re so excited to see that our streamlined UpMeals solution can disrupt an older food accessibility model and provide affordable, 24/7 healthy food options designed specifically based on student preferences. The machines will be stocked fresh daily in a single trip, so we’ll also be helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the institutions and students, providing a much more sustainable solution.” – Drew Munro, Co-Founder and CEO of UpMeals

“The students, faculty and staff at Simon Fraser University are always searching for healthy food choices. Ensuring our campuses are equipped with nourishing options at any hour of the day will support a healthy student body and mind. It’s a sustainable option and it helps our campus to eliminate food waste through UpMeals’ partnership with the Vancouver Food Runners food donation program. We’re thrilled to see this innovative concept take off.” – Dan Traviss, Director, SFU Food and Ancillary Services, Simon Fraser University 

We‘re excited to be joining UpMeals as they grow their UpMeals on Campus initiative. We’re eager to see this program flourish as schools welcome students back to school in a normal capacity – and look forward to contributing to UpMeals’ healthy food accessibility mission, helping students be healthier and more productive. We wish this existed when we were students!”– Jovan Choongh, Growth Team at UpMeals