A scholarship tailored to giving Lobos the chance to experience La Posada Dining Hall was awarded to four students for the Spring 2018 semester.

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico, UNM Food Services and Chartwells — UNM’s food service provider — combined forces to award four Teal Club Memberships to deserving Lobos through the Food 4 Lobos Scholarship.

The scholarships will last throughout the semester and have a total value of $7,800, said Mason Martinez, chief of staff for ASUNM President Noah Brooks.

To qualify for the scholarship, a recipient must be a current UNM student, either an undergraduate or non-degree student who has not received a baccalaureate degree and be enrolled in school full-time.

The scholarship is typically awarded to two students for a full academic year, but this semester ASUNM elected to provide four during the Spring semester, Martinez said.

Martinez said ASUNM is always looking for scholarship opportunities and ways to give back to students, and the continuing collaboration between Chartwells, UNM Food Services and ASUNM is what inspired the Food 4 Lobos Scholarship.

Tim Backes, the associate director of Dining & Food Services, said money for scholarships was written in the contract between Chartwells and the University, which is how Food 4 Lobos is funded.

Backes said at the start of a new fiscal year UNM Food Services will receive money for scholarships and then will give that money to ASUNM and the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

Once the money is handed over, the process is completely up to ASUNM, Backes said. Since the inception of the scholarship three years ago, he said ASUNM has given food services a list of the final five applicants for review, and they have always approved them in the past.

“(ASUNM) is closer to the fire,” Backes said. “They know the students’ needs, (and) they know who’s best to receive this.”

Backes said he is grateful that “from the get go” ASUNM has taken charge of the scholarship — including creating scholarship applications, a committee to review applications and then sending the top five back to Chartwells and Dining & Food Services to review.

The scholarship GPSA awards to students is different, because the students are usually nontraditional and would not typically eat at La Posada, Backes said. Instead of Teal Club meal plans, GPSA gives their scholarship money in the form of dining dollars.

Backes said too often people think students have the funds to not only pay tuition, but also take care of their nutritional needs, which he said is not the case. He said it is a proven fact that students do better in school when they can count on three meals a day, and that the relief of not worrying where their next meal is coming from can be beneficial.

“It’s just something that’s incredibly important to me, that we give back to the students,” he said. “I’m just really really happy that Chartwells sees the benefit in this also.”

Madison Spratto is a news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @Madi_Spratto.