King Hall Food Shortages


New Member
I am a mother of a plebe, and i have heard that food quality in King Hall went down in recent years and now there are food shortages. Wonder if other parents heard the same from their Mids. Thanks!
Been happening for 5 years! DD cooked her own food on weekends and put in the ward room fridge. She hated the institutional food at King Hall. BTW she is a bodybuilder.


Food shortages is one thing, but I think every college has the same issue with quality of food. My younger son goes to Emerson college in Boston and there were/are huge complaints about the food. Many of these schools outsource the food and these companies offer different levels of quality. After so many complaints, Emerson decided to pay for one higher level of quality. The joke around school now is that they are getting one level above prison food.


I heard two complaints-the goodies (deserts) are too plentiful and too accessible (I’m crying crocodile tears) and the salad/vegetable tables are too crowded.


New Member
I dont have much issue with the quality. But when i heard for 12 people only 8 burgers to share, i didn't like it. i will talk to my plebe to find out more details on it. Thank you all for your input.


It is true. Both quality and portion sizes have been reduced significantly in the past month. Supposedly they went over budget last year and now have to make cuts. Twice in the past week, all that was served for the entree at dinner was those frozen taquitos, but even grosser than the ones at the store. During lunch, they are sometimes only bringing enough servings of food for half the number of mids that sit at the table. Many have resorted to just having big bowls of spinach for dinner and supplementing with protein bars and other snacks.

I honestly think it’s an embarassment. I went to a civilian college previously, and while the food wasn’t perfect, there always was a lot of it, and there were always healthy and tasty options. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for USNA. This is just the reality given funding constraints. The Army and Air Force budget about 5 dollars more per cadet per day for food at their academies than Navy does. I’m not sure why, but leadership says they’re trying to ask for more money from DoN. Hopefully it happens.


I inquired with my DS Plebe and he hasn’t noticed any issues. He said that the food is plentiful - of course the quality is what it is, but the amount of it hasn’t been a problem.
There will always be enough food .... and some of the anomalies could be vendor issues.

I have to say that I hate it when my chicken pot pie is too dry, and when it has too few carrots .... And there are some weeks when all I crave is the smelliest sauerkraut with Polish kielbasa .... That’s just me I suppose.
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Capt MJ

10-Year Member
It’s a challenging situation to manage food quantity for that population.

When all meals were mandatory during the week, it was easier to run the meal portions model and forecast expenditures.

Way way back in the day, USNA was the site of the Navy mess cook school. All meals were cooked from scratch. Labor cost was no problem. No outside food deliveries, no Mid Store 7-11 snacks, no reefers in rooms or wardrooms. The USNA dairy supplied milk, ice cream and butter until the 90’s (they had their own dairy to mitigate against various 19th c diseases). As with everything else, for cost savings, over time the labor source shifted to DON civilians, then complete out-sourcing to an institutional food prep vendor similar to most college campuses. Food went from scratch cook to boil-in-bag pre-cooked food or other pre-made institutional fare. Midshipmen routinely skip meals and order delivery, making it a crapshoot to forecast quantity for non-mandatory meals, which drives up food waste. No fault of the mids, it’s a vicious cycle. And, in the perennial way of military budgeting, if they spend less in one year because they adjusted quantities downward, the Big Navy budgeteers don’t see why the budget amount for the next year should be higher for the same population. Mids today are also used to an international variety of foods and eating preferences (vegan, vegetarian, keto, etc.) which add additional complexity to the meat-veg-starch models of the past.

I was on USNA staff for the last of the dairy years. Dang, those lunchtime milkshakes were good. They would make up massive batches of milkshakes and pour them into the clear plastic table water pitchers, then stow them in the freezers until semi-frozen. It was the job of the plebes at the table to dive in with big serving spoons and re-mix the shakes to pourable consistency.

Here’s the USNA description:

I did a quick search for current USMA and USAFA Cadet food per diems, but am not as adept at searching those sites. It would be interesting to see the amount from an official source.
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there are a lot of great things about USNA, but the food is definitely not one of them

go near Gate 1 on any evening and see how many mids are reaching through the bars of the fence to collect their uber eats or other takeout, like animals at the zoo getting food from visitors


Marathoners eat a lot of calories.

I asked my son about this whole food-shortage thing. He asked, "What food shortage?" He laughed and told me that I spend too much time on social media. He said there is plenty to eat. And he eats a lot.
My son admitted he supplements his meals with candy! I think that is why he is so happy.

He said the issue boils down to people don’t go to meals so they don’t know how to prepare the proper amounts. He said you just find something else and eat that.

He said that on Sunday ... he doesn’t go to breakfast or lunch. He said it isn’t worth getting dressed in uniform to go eat crappy food. Said he would rather catch up on his sleep.

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
If the sailors aren't *****'en, they aint happy :rolleyes: !

When I visited and ate with the Brigade, a year ago the food was a lot better, and they had more variety ...including leaving the family style service to go to a salad bar. The food then was as good, if not better, than what my daughters got at high priced East Coast liberal arts schools,

That said, like anything else, I am sure Midshipman Food Service has a budget, and it probably has its ups and downs. (Now I realize that the Steak nights at USNA really weren't to celebrate a special occassion, the Food Services Officer probably had some excess budget he had to burn off before the end of the quarter !). When the budget is tight and they have to cut corners, there is probably a noticeable drop in quality or quantity, but I'm sure that the Midshipmen are fed enough that they won't starve. I've never heard anyone extol the virtues of college food anywhere, and of course, there are a lot more options outside the Gate than there used to be. (I only recall pizza from Steerage , or Dominoes).


Some people will always complain about institutional food no matter how good it is. It is very hard to believe that the USNA would not provide adequate nutrition.

As an aside, our mother was such a bad cook, that my two brothers and I always enjoyed the institutional food wherever we went, whether the university cafeteria, or the fraternity house , to us, it was better than what we got at home.


He said that on Sunday ... he doesn’t go to breakfast or lunch. He said it isn’t worth getting dressed in uniform to go eat crappy food. Said he would rather catch up on his sleep.
My son says that Sunday breakfast is the best meal of the week (except Thursday - buff chick day). Says it's actually quite good.

I don't think anyone is starving. Some of it may be 19 year olds being left to their own devices for the first time. My wife looks at it this way - "He's going to be really looking forward to my cooking at Thanksgiving." It was like that for me four decades ago in civilian school. Complaining about food and looking forward to home cooking is an essential part of it. If he can't figure out a way to get enough food, well I guess I wouldn't (eventually) want him driving a ship or sitting in the cockpit of an F-35.

With regard to meals, he tells me it's basically Carry On for Plebes at every table for all meals. No permission required. According to him, the feeling among most upperclassmen is that imposing eating rules for Plebes (front three inches etc.) after Plebe Summer is not a great leadership example. Don't know if this is new or not.


DS rows men's heavyweight crew and needs (eats) a ton of calories. He usually orders out Sunday nights for a treat and has yet to complain about any food shortages.