Finding free food around a college campus is as much a science as it is an art. This guide will share with you the top techniques used by scavenging professionals in their quest for free food. You will find out how to extract free food from all sorts of events, from mass meetings, to private birthday parties. But be warned, to truly master free food gathering techniques, you will need to practice often, and perhaps even commit to a rigorous schedule of attending "events".
Mass meetings, public lectures, and corporate presentations are usually the easiest places to find tasty food. These types of events are promoted to a wide audience, are frequently advertised, and often serve free food to attract wayward students.
Student groups often receive funding from academic departments and student government groups, which they spend on mass meeting pizza to attract new members. You don't need to know anything specific or even put up much of a pretense of being interested to show up to a mass meeting. Student groups are usually pretty optimistic about turnout, meaning that you can show up late and there will still usually be food left. After you have finished eating, feel free to leave the event if it is getting boring.
Desperate, or well-funded speakers will sometimes provide delicious catering at their lectures. Be warned, lectures with the best food may not be as well advertised, but they are still usually open to the public. Funded by old professors, lectures usually have a better variety of food than student groups, i.e. they may have catering from a local restaurant instead of bulk-rate pizza.
Corporations attempt to wow potential "students hires" with delicious food at their presentations. Let the "job-seekers" mingle with the recruiters while you eat all of the food.
According to free food mastermind D.R., when attempting to fit in at less familiar events, keep the following important tactics in mind:
The following notes are reprinted from an e-mail D.R. sent to one of the founders of HungryHungryCoeds.com.
The website idea is ingenious. Sure I have advice. First, there are a huge number of academic departments at the university of michigan. Each of those departments has a departmental kitchen. Figure out where those are - everybody will have kitchens close to their classes, and will be able to access (covertly) kitchens within the departments that interest them. Kitchens usually have leftover food from academic events and presents for the staff/professers/grads. But no touching personal food! We cannot be entirely devoid of scruples.
Second, academic departments have clubs and events geared towards those interested. Figure out where and when they meet - for example East Hall 144E every Wednesday at 12PM. Pizza lunches included. Chem 1210 at 630PM for my bioclub last year, and a pizza dinner included. Don't forget that the wealth of the department will determine the food quality.
Thirdly: Union and League events will often last all day, but there are usually mealtimes around 1 or 2 and perhaps 6. On the way to class, stop by the league or union and just look at the events posted. Bigger rooms are better, mealtimes are better, food mentioned is best.